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IN   IRELAND  (1688-2691)  AND   OP 

Presented  to  the 
LIBRARY  of  the 



Legislative  Library 

The  BATTLE  of  the  BOYNE 



By  Demetrius  Charles  Boulger  jy* 














V.  THE  CAMPAIGNS  OF  1689-90  120 










INDEX  374 

List  of  Illustrations 


From  the  Portrait  by  Sir  Godfrey  Kneller  in  the 

National  Portrait  Gallery  Frontispiece 


From  the  Painting  by  W.  Wissing  in  the  National  Facing  page 

Portrait  Gallery  34. 


From  the  Painting  in  the  National  Portrait  Gallery  66 


From  the  Portrait  at  Powis  Castle,  in  the  possession 

of  the  Earl  ofPowis  90 


From  the  Painting  at  Arundel  Castle,   in  the 
possession  of  the  Duke  of  Norfolk  1 16 


From  the  Portrait  in  the  possession  of  the  Order  of 

Franciscan  Friars  in  Dublin  164 

From  the  Portrait  at  Killarney  House,  in  the 
possession  of  the  Earl  of  Kenmare  242 


From  the  Portrait  at   Westport  House,  in  the 
possession  of  the  Marquis  ofSligo  264, 


From  the  Portrait  in  the  possession  of  the  Due 

D'Alba  324, 


From    the   Portrait  in   the  possession  of  James 

Paton,  Esq.  338 

The  BATTLE  of  the  BOYNE 

Chapter  I 


DURING  the  night  of  December  19-20  (N.S.), 
1688,  there  sailed  into  Calais  harbour  an 
English  yacht,  which  was  engaged  in  its 
customary  work  of  conveying  travellers  across 
the  Channel  between  England  and  France.  On  this 
occasion  there  were  twenty-six  passengers  on  board, 
including  an  infant,  and  the  captain,  Clark  by  name, 
had  never  before  conveyed  a  living  freight  so  precious 
and  unusual.  Under  different  circumstances,  if  History 
had  only  taken  a  slightly  altered  form,  the  little  boat 
might  have  become  famous  as  having  borne  the  destiny 
of  England.  But  dis  aliter  visum.  It  took  away  those 
who  were  never  to  return,  the  representatives  of  a 
lost  cause,  the  last  members  of  the  sovereign  House  by 
right  divine  in  this  United  Realm.  It  is  true  the  sovereign 
himself  was  not  on  board,  but  he  was  to  follow  some  little 
time  after,  and  for  all  practical  purposes  the  yacht  may 
be  considered  to  have  carried  with  it  the  hopes  and  fortunes 
of  the  Stuarts. 

The  little  barque  made  a  good  passage,  and  as  a  piquant 
detail,  considering  who  were  on  board,  it  may  be  mentioned 
that  she  passed  unchallenged  and  unmolested  through  a 
fleet  of  fifty  Dutch  warships  in  the  Downs. 

The  principal  passengers  were  Mary  Beatrice  d'Este  of 


Modena,  Queen  of  England,  etc.,  her  son,  the  infant 
Prince  of  Wales,  William  Herbert,  Marquis  of  Powis,  his 
wife,  nee  Lady  Elisabeth  Somerset,  Lady  Sophia  Bulkeley 
and  two  of  her  daughters,  Anne,  unmarried  but  destined 
to  be  Duchess  of  Berwick,  and  Charlotte,  wife  of  Charles 
O'Brien,  afterwards  Viscount  Clare,  a  hero  of  Blenheim 
and  Ramillies,  where  he  received  his  death-wound,  not  for 
England  but  for  France.  There  were  other  passengers 
closely  attached  to  the  Queen  :  her  lifelong  friend,  Madame 
Davia,  not  yet  Countess  d'Almonde,  nee  Anna  Victoria  de 
Montecuculli  of  Modena,  the  faithful  Turini,  her  bed- 
chamber woman,  the  courier,  or  page  of  the  backstairs, 
Riva,  another  Italian.  To  these  three  faithful  citizens  of 
her  own  native  town  must  be  added  Lauzun,  the  impresario 
of  the  scene,  the  man  who  has  arranged  the  flight,  and 
who  in  his  own  estimation  at  least  is  the  hero  of  the 

Before  going  further  let  us  give  the  full  list  of  those  on 
board  : — 


OF    MODENA  of  Persons 

Queen  Mary,  Prince  of  Wales  2 

Lady  Sophia  Bulkeley,  Miss  Anne  Bulkeley  2 

Marquis  and  Marchioness  of  Powis  2 

Victoria  Montecuculli  Davia,  and  her  brother  the 

Marquis  Montecuculli  2 

Lady  Strickland  and  Madame  Turini  (the  Queen's 

femme  de  chambre)  2 

Father  Giuduci  and  Sir  William  Waldegrave  (physician)  2 
Dominic  Sheldon,  Guttier  Francois,  Riva,  Dufour, 

and  Leyburn  5 

Lord  and  Lady  O'Brien  de  Clare  (really  Charles 

O'Brien,  afterwards  Viscount  Clare)  2 

Three  Irish  Captains  (McCarthy  of  Petersfield  probably 

one  of  them)  3 

Turini,  Mrs.  L'Abadie,  dry  nurse,  and  a  wet  nurse 

unnamed  3 

Lauzun  I 


THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.   GERMAINS         11 

The  passage  from  Gravesend  must  indeed  have  been 
excellent,  for  the  child  slept  throughout  the  journey. 
We  will  now  take  a  brief  glance  at  the  events  which  pre- 
ceded the  flight,  and  more  especially  does  it  concern 
this  narrative  to  show  how  and  why  it  was  that  the  Royal 
Family  of  England  should  flee  to  France  in  the  absolute 
conviction  that  protection  and  hospitality  awaited  them 
in  that  country. 

The  affairs  of  England  had  been  the  subject  of  the 
closest  attention  in  Paris  ever  since  the  accession  of  James  II, 
on  the  death  of  his  brother  Charles  II  in  1685,  and  still 
more  especially  since  the  formation  of  the  League  of 
Augsburg  in  July,  1686,  by  William  of  Orange  and  the 
Emperor  of  Germany.  During  the  whole  of  Charles's 
reign  French  influence  had  been  in  the  ascendant  at 
Whitehall.  A  French  mistress  had  ruled  the  King,  English 
ministers  received  French  pensions,  and  English  officers 
and  men  learnt  the  art  of  war  under  Turenne.  There 
was  no  definite  agreement,  but  there  was  a  very  good 
entente  cordiale.  Louis  wanted  this  good  understanding 
to  be  converted  into  a  regular  alliance,  and  when  James 
proclaimed  himself  a  Catholic  it  looked  for  a  moment  as 
if  his  end  would  be  attained.  But  the  King's  conversion 
raised  fresh  obstacles  instead  of  removing  those  that 
already  existed,  and  when  Louis  revoked  the  Edict  of 
Nantes  a  great  outcry  arose  in  England  that  the  country 
was  about  to  be  betrayed  to  the  Pope.  It  was  this  appre- 
hension that  gave  William,  Prince  of  Orange,  the  chance 
of  posing  as  the  champion  of  Protestantism.  He  took 
a  leaf  out  of  Louis's  own  book,  and  began  to  bribe  the 
ministers  of  England.  Sunderland,  the  most  notorious 
of  them  all,  took  one  salary  from  France  and  another 
from  Holland.  To  James  he  swore  by  all  the  saints  that 
he  was  a  good  Catholic  ;  to  William  he  made  no  oaths, 
but  he  sent  him  the  priceless  information  that  Louis  had 
engaged  to  invest  Maestricht  if  the  Prince  of  Orange 
made  any  move  against  England. 


Although  Louis  XIV  was  then  at  the  height  of  his 
power,  the  league  arrayed  against  him  was  formidable, 
and  if  England  were  to  be  added  to  it  the  odds  against 
him  might  become  too  great.  So  long  as  James,  not 
merely  his  first  cousin,  but  his  guest,  companion,  and 
fellow-soldier  of  the  days  of  exile  under  Cromwell,  held 
the  throne  there  was  no  risk  of  this.  Indeed,  if  James 
could  hold  his  ground  there  was  far  more  likelihood  of 
his  becoming  the  open  ally  of  France,  and  had  that  stage 
been  reached  the  map  of  Europe  could  "have  been  re- 

But  the  desire  to  obtain  the  English  alliance  did  not 
blind  the  wisest  of  the  French  ministers  to  James's  own 
position.  Early  in  1688  it  became  clear  in  Paris  that 
James  was  in  great  difficulties,  and  the  impression  grew 
that  he  did  not  know  how  to  deal  with  them.  He  was 
told  that  Sunderland  was  a  traitor,  but  he  continued 
to  entrust  him  with  his  closest  secrets.  This  conduct 
was  the  first  cause  of  the  want  of  confidence  felt  by  Louvois, 
the  great  Minister  of  France,  who  was  the  main  prop  of 
Louis's  government,  in  James,  which  became  intensified 
with  each  fresh  experience.  Lookers-on  proverbially 
see  most  of  the  game,  and  soon  it  was  discovered  that  James 
was  not  merely  in  difficulty,  but  in  danger.  It  was  then 
that  George  Skelton,  James's  ambassador  at  Versailles, 
alarmed  at  the  news  from  London,  took  upon  himself 
to  ask  Louvois  to  send  over  a  French  army  to  keep  James 
on  the  throne.  Louvois  having  just  committed  himself 
to  the  invasion  of  the  Palatinate,  declined  the  proposal, 
and  James,  alarmed  at  the  effect  on  English  opinion  of 
the  rumoured  introduction  of  French  troops  into  the 
country,  recalled  Skelton  and  sent  him  to  the  Tower. 
He  was  kept  there  for  a  short  space  as  a  prisoner,  but 
he  remained  somewhat  longer  as  its  governor.  It  was 
said  with  some  neatness  at  the  time  that  James  punished 
Skelton's  indiscretion  with  a  cell,  and  rewarded  his  loyalty 
with  the  governor's  quarters. 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         13 

When  it  became  generally  known  that  William  of 
Orange  was  preparing  a  large  fleet  and  army  to  cross 
into  England,  and  that  he  had  been  invited  to  come  over 
for  the  preservation  of  the  Protestant  cause  by  some  of 
the  most  influential  men  in  England  and  Scotland,  French 
statesmen  had  to  face  the  fact  that  James,  far  from  being 
likely  to  succeed  in  holding  his  own,  was  confronted  with 
the  grave  risk  of  losing  his  throne.  This  risk  was  increased 
by  James's  own  conduct.  He  would  not  believe  that 
those  who  offered  him  such  effusive  lip-service  could  be 
false.  He  should  have  sent  Sunderland  to  the  Tower, 
instead  of  loyal  George  Skelton. 

French  opinion  was  prepared  then  for  the  downfall 
of  James  long  before  the  poor  King  realised  his  own 
position,  and  there  was  no  inclination  at  Versailles  to 
risk  the  mad  adventure  of  keeping  him  on  the  throne  by 
means  of  a  French  army.  But,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
fact  was  appreciated  that  while  the  Prince  of  Orange 
had  an  army  in  England  he  would  have  fewer  troops  in 
the  Netherlands,  and  that  then  would  be  the  time  for 
France  to  press  him  in  the  Meuse  valley.  It  was  also 
hoped  that  the  presence  of  foreign  troops  in  England 
would  arouse  national  opposition  to  that  veiled  conquest 
of  1688  which  believers  in  the  invulnerability  of  England 
have  so  consistently  ignored  down  to  the  present  day, 
and  it  was  never  conceived  to  be  possible  that  the  English 
people  would  make,  even  for  the  sake  of  a  menaced  Church, 
that  tame  surrender  which  they  did  to  the  Danes,  Prussians, 
Huguenots  and  Dutchmen  collected  under  the  Orange  flag 
in  the  winter  of  1688-9.  The  French  hoped  then  that 
William  might  well  burn  his  fingers  over  his  adventure, 
and  their  conception  of  the  likely  course  of  events  was  at 
least  not  uncomplimentary  to  the  English  character. 

For  the  moment  the  only  active  part  that  the  French 
authorities  were  disposed  to  take  towards  upholding  the 
Stuarts  was  in  facilitating  the  escape  of  the  English  Royal 
Family,  and  above  all  of  the  young  Prince  of  Wales,  and 


in  providing  them  with  a  secure  place  of  refuge.  The 
darker  and  more  uncertain  the  future  was  deemed  for 
King  James  himself,  the  more  essential  did  it  seem  from 
the  French  point  of  view  to  acquire  the  person  of  his  only 
male  heir.  There  was  no  difference  of  opinion  on  this 
point  between  Louis  and  his  Ministers.  Louvois,  moved 
by  political  calculations  alone,  was  in  complete  accord 
with  the  chivalric  impulses  of  Louis  XIV  which  led  that 
monarch  to  decide  on  giving  the  most  cordial  hospitality 
to  the  fugitive  Stuarts.  Louvois  gladly  found  the  money 
to  refurnish  Vincennes  which  was  first  selected  as  their 
residence,  and  he  went  even  further  than  his  sovereign 
in  thinking  that  the  sooner  the  Queen  of  England  and 
her  son  were  safe  in  France  the  better.  He  was  also  not 
very  sanguine  about  James's  own  chances.  It  was  not 
merely  that  he  had  even  in  these  early  days  no  high  opinion 
of  the  King's  ability,  but  his  own  recent  experience  in 
interfering  with  the  religious  sentiments  of  a  people  had 
not  been  very  successful,  and  had  left  him  in  a  chastened 

The  Louvois  of  1688  was  not  quite  the  same  person 
as  he  had  been  in  1685,  when  James's  conversion  had 
seemed  to  herald  the  return  of  England  to  the  Catholic 
fold.  The  success  of  the  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of 
Nantes  and  the  dragonnades  had  not  been  so  absolute 
in  France  as  to  make  him  think  that  James  Stuart  would 
succeed  in  a  task  somewhat  similar  to  but  more  difficult 
than  his  own,  when  Protestant  England  was  the  scene 
in  lieu  of  Catholic  France.  When  George  Skelton  asked 
for  French  troops  Louvois  knew  that  James  II  had  already 
failed.  The  letters  from  his  agents  in  England  made  him 
think,  rightly  or  wrongly,  that  for  the  completeness  of 
his  failure  James  was  himself  much  to  blame,  and  thus 
his  distrust  and  dislike  of  the  Stuart  King  dated  from  a 
time  anterior  to  their  meeting  in  France. 

But  Louvois  had  no  doubt  as  to  the  wisdom  of  welcoming 
the  Stuart  family.  The  possession  of  the  legitimate  heir 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         15 

to  the  Crown  of  England  was  a  trump  card  in  the  great 
game  of  politics.  If  William  of  Orange  secured  not  merely 
his  father-in-law's  crown,  but  the  persons  of  the  King 
and  his  only  direct  heir,  then  his  triumph  would  be  doubly 
great  and  lasting.  How  was  this  to  be  prevented  ? 

Fate  came  to  the  assistance  of  his  plans  in  the  person 
of  Lauzun,  and  it  was  the  more  remarkable  because  Louvois 
was  not  his  friend.  It  will  be  more  convenient  to  give  the 
story  of  this  worthless  person  (ce  triste  personnage  of  Louvois) 
at  a  later  phase  of  his  participation  in  the  Stuart  drama, 
but  in  1688  he  had  not  long  been  released  from  ten  years' 
imprisonment  in  the  Bastille  and  elsewhere  on  condition 
that  he  did  not  come  within  two  leagues  of  the  Court. 
He  still  dreamt  of  great  deeds,  and  of  his  return  to  the 
Court  where  he  had  once  been  prime  favourite,  but  no 
one  believed  that  so  long  as  Mademoiselle  de  Mont- 
pensier  (La  Grande  Mademoiselle)  lived  he  had  any  chance 
of  success.  At  the  very  moment  that  Lauzun  was  con- 
ceiving impossible  adventures,  Louvois  needed  an  ad- 
venturer of  good  class,  accustomed  to  Courts,  but  with 
a  reputation  to  restore.  The  adventure  of  bringing  over 
the  heir  to  the  English  crown  and  his  mother  was  made 
for  Lauzun,  and  Lauzun  was  made  for  the  adventure. 
Besides,  he  had  some  special  qualifications.  He  knew  the 
English  language  a  little ;  he  had  been  to  London,  and  he 
had  served  with  King  James  as  a  comrade  in  the  trenches 
before  Landrecies  in  1655.  The  character  of  the  rescuer 
of  the  wife  and  child  of  an  old  companion  in  arms,  who 
had  had  the  good  fortune  to  become  a  monarch  in  the 
interval,  was  one  that  well  accorded  with  the  grandiose 
ideas  of  his  own  magnificence  and  importance. 

On  October  21,  1688,  we  learn  from  the  invaluable 
diary  of  Dangeau  that  Lauzun  left  for  England  to  offer 
his  services  to  James  II.  A  more  cautious  chronicler 
expressed  the  current  talk  of  the  day  on  the  subject  in 
the  words  :  "  Lauzun  has  gone  to  England  in  search  of 
some  amusement."  The  cynical  St.  Simon  adds  that 


"  the  English  Revolution  broke  out  expressly  in  Lauzun's 
interests."  The  official  biographer l  of  King  James  II 
merely  states  that  "  all  things  being  ready  by  this  time  for 
the  Queen  and  Prince's  departure  it  fell  out  opportunely 
enough  that  the  Count  de  Lozune,  a  French  gentleman, 
was  then  at  the  Court  of  England,  whither  he  came  to 
offer  his  services  to  the  King  ...  so  His  Majesty  accepted 
of  his  offer  an  other  way,  as  thinking  him  a  proper  person 
to  attend  upon  the  Queen  in  this  voyage,  and  that  under 
the  notion  of  his  returning  to  his  own  country  (there 
being  no  business  for  him  in  England)  a  yacght  might  be 
prepared  and  the  Queen  and  Prince  pass  unsuspected  in 
his  company." 

By  the  time  that  Lauzun's  services  were  required  half 
the  month  of  December,  1688,  had  passed  away.  The 
Prince  of  Wales  had  been  sent  to  Portsmouth,  under 
the  personal  charge  of  Lord  and  Lady  Powis,  in  the  belief 
that  the  Prince  of  Orange  intended  landing  on  the  East 
Coast,  while  the  King  and  Queen  remained  in  London. 
But  when  William  landed  at  Torbay,  and  his  patrols  were 
riding  through  Dorset  to  Hampshire,  it  was  seen  that 
Portsmouth  was  no  longer  a  safe  place,  and  Lord  Powis, 
with  his  precious  charge,  was  summoned  back  to  London. 
There  seems  no  doubt  that  the  party  only  escaped  capture 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Petersfield  through  the  intelli- 
gence of  "  Mr.  Macarty,  an  Irish  Officer,"  and  when  they 
reached  London  everything  was  ready  for  the  immediate 
departure  of  the  Queen  and  her  child  for  France. 

James  had  made  up  his  mind  to  quit  England.  He  had 
entrusted  his  personal  papers  to  the  safe  custody  of  the 
Marquis  Terriesi,  Envoy  from  Tuscany,  who  undertook 
to  convey  them  to  Italy  and  thence  to  Paris.  It  only 
remained  then  to  arrange  the  details  for  the  flight,  and 
as  it  was  impossible  for  them  all  to  escape  together,  it 
was  decided  that  the  Queen  should  leave  immediately 

1  The  autobiography  (practically  speaking)  based  on  the  Stuart  papers  by 
the  Rev.  J.  S.  Clarke,  1816. 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS        17 

after  the  arrival  of  her  child,  under  the  escort  of  Lauzun. 
The  Queen  was  quite  willing  for  her  son  to  be  sent  over, 
but  her  reluctance  to  leave  her  husband  was  only  over- 
come by  his  assurance  that  he  "  would  follow  within 
twenty-four  hours  of  her  departure."  It  was  thereupon 
agreed  that  the  Queen  and  the  Prince  of  Wales  should 
start  first. 

According  to  Lauzun's  own  account,  all  the  preparations 
for  departure  having  been  made  in  advance,  the  flight 
took  place  on  the  same  night  as  the  arrival  of  the  Prince 
from  Portsmouth,  and  this  was  the  6th  (O.S.)  or  i6th 
(N.S.)  of  December.  The  threatening  attitude  of  the 
mob  in  Southwark  towards  the  soldiers  sent  to  escort  the 
young  Prince  into  London  showed  that  there  was  no  time 
to  lose,  and  that  a  wise  precaution  had  been  adopted 
in  bringing  the  party  from  Portsmouth  by  a  roundabout 
route  over  Kingston  Bridge. 

Francesco  Riva,  an  Italian  gentleman  in  attendance 
upon  the  Queen  ever  since  her  first  arrival  in  England, 
prepared  an  official  account  of  the  flight,  which  was  no 
doubt  read  by  the  Queen  and  corrected  under  her  personal 
direction.  It  is  not  free  from  some  errors  and  omissions, 
but  on  the  whole  it  is  the  best  account  we  possess.  He 
states  that  he  was  sent  to  bring  the  Prince  back  from 
Portsmouth,  and  that  the  route  was  guarded  by  several 
regiments,  notably  by  the  Earl  of  Salisbury's  at  Guildford. 
He  also  states  that  the  party  reached  Whitehall  at  three 
in  the  morning,  and  that  the  young  Prince  was  kept 
concealed  in  the  apartments  of  M.  de  1'Abadie,  groom 
of  the  chambers,  all  day — de  1'Abadie's  wife  being  his  dry 

On  the  night  of  December  16,  then,  the  King  and 
Queen  retired  as  usual  to  rest  in  Whitehall,  and  no  one 
was  informed  that  the  Prince  had  arrived.  He  was  kept, 
as  described,  in  M.  de  1'Abadie's  chamber,  close  to  the 
royal  apartment,  with  Lord  and  Lady  Powis  and  his 
nurse.  A  quarter  of  an  hour  after  retiring  King  James 


got  up,  and  the  Queen  rose  at  the  same  time,  ready  dressed 
for  travelling.  Those  in  the  antechamber,  joined  by 
the  Queen's  favourite,  Madame  Davia,  entered  the  room, 
and  the  King,  taking  the  child  in  his  arms,  enveloped  as 
it  was  in  a  bundle  of  linen,  led  the  way  down  a  back  stair- 
case and  several  passages  to  a  small  door  on  the  side  of  the 
Palace  nearest  to  the  river. 

Here  Lauzun  and  his  friend,  M.  Saint  Victor,  a  French 
officer  of  approved  courage  and  an  expert  swordsman, 
who  may  have  been  the  original  of  Dumas'  D'Artagnan, 
were  waiting.  Saint  Victor  took  the  child  in  his  arms, 
and  the  King,  turning  to  Lauzun,  said  briefly  that  he 
entrusted  to  him  all  he  held  dearest  in  the  world.  There 
was  no  time  to  waste,  and  Lauzun  led  the  way,  escorting 
the  Queen  to  the  boat  held  in  readiness  at  the  Palace 
stairs.  The  night  was  dark,  and  there  was  rain,  with  a 
high  wind,  and  the  crossing  of  the  river  in  the  obscurity 
was  no  easy  matter.  On  reaching  the  Lambeth  side  the 
coaches  had  not  arrived,  and  for  an  hour  the  party  found 
such  shelter  as  they  could  under  the  wall  of  Lambeth 
Chapel.  During  this  hour  of  suspense  the  Queen,  wrote 
Sir  J.  Dalrymple,  whose  literal  accuracy  is  not  remarkable, 
"  turned  her  eyes,  streaming  with  tears,  sometimes  on 
the  Prince,  unconscious  of  the  miseries  which  attend  upon 
Royalty,  and  who,  upon  that  account,  raised  the  greater 
compassion  in  her  heart,  and  sometimes  to  the  innumerable 
lights  of  the  City  amidst  the  glimmerings  of  which  she 
in  vain  explored  the  Palace  in  which  her  husband  was  left, 
and  started  at  every  sound  she  heard  from  there." 

Riva's  account  is  more  detailed  and  circumstantial.  It 
shows  that  besides  the  comparatively  small  party  escaping 
from  the  Palace,  several  of  the  Queen's  friends  had  gone 
direct  to  the  rendezvous  at  Lambeth,  under  the  charge  of 
Dufour,  page  of  the  backstairs,  and  that  three  carriages 
were  in  readiness.  Riva,  curiously  enough,  omits  to 
mention  the  name  of  Saint  Victor,  who  carried  the  Prince 
in  his  arms,  but  there  is  no  room  for  doubting  that  he  was 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         19 

there.  Some  one  described  him  as  formerly  squire  to  the 
Due  de  Vendome. 

As  soon  as  the  party  had  crossed  the  river  the  page 
Dufour  went  off  to  call  the  carriages.  He  found  the  ostlers 
all  drinking.  They  had  not  drunk  so  much,  however,  as  not 
to  feel  a  little  curious  as  to  who  the  travellers  were,  and 
one  came  forth  with  a  lantern  to  find  out.  By  this  time 
most  of  the  party  had  taken  their  seats,  and  Riva,  appre- 
hensive lest  the  ostler  might  discover  the  Queen,  jostled 
up  against  him,  upsetting  him  in  the  narrow  alley,  and 
extinguishing  his  lantern.  Riva  also  fell  and  rose  covered 
with  mud.  He  then  jumped  into  the  back  seat  of  the 
Queen's  coach,  and  the  party  drove  off.  After  proceeding 
some  distance  on  the  Old  Kent  Road  they  were  met  by 
Leyburn,  the  Queen's  squire,  with  two  horses.  Riva 
put  on  riding-boots,  and  mounting  one  of  them,  rode 
with  Leyburn  as  a  rear-guard.  It  seems  probable  that 
Saint  Victor  did  likewise,  for  Leyburn  led  two  horses. 
Riva  either  forgot  all  about  the  French  officer,  or  did  not 
wish  any  one  to  share  in  the  credit  of  the  successful  flight 
but  himself.  Riva,  not  Lauzun,  much  less  the  unnamed 
Saint  Victor,  is  the  hero  of  the  occasion  in  the  Italian's 
narrative.  Some  time  after  this  incident  three  Irish 
officers  joined  the  party,  and  thus  the  Queen  had  a  small 
guard  of  trustworthy  and  devoted  men.  The  names  of 
these  officers  are  not  given,  but  in  all  probability  McCarthy 
of  Petersfield  was  one  of  them. 

Without  accident  the  Queen  and  her  companions  reached 
Gravesend.  All  were  got  on  board  the  yacht  in  safety 
and  without  attracting  notice,  the  little  Prince  being 
carried  on  board  by  Saint  Victor  "  in  a  bundle  of  soiled 
linen."  It  had  been  arranged  that  if  the  captain  dis- 
played the  least  sign  of  treachery  he  should  be  thrown 
overboard,  but  he  spontaneously  protested  his  loyalty, 
and  declared  that  the  only  reward  he  asked  for  was  the 
Queen's  passport,  to  be  preserved  as  an  heirloom  in  his 
family.  Saint  Victor  returned  to  the  shore,  and  when 


he  had  seen  the  yacht  sail  with  a  fair  wind,  he  rode  back 
to  London  to  inform  the  King  that  all  had  gone  off  as 
proposed.  The  King  then  made  his  own  arrangements  to 
follow  the  Queen  the  next  night.  This  programme  could 
not  be  carried  out,  for  reasons  that  have  yet  to  be  given, 
but  the  description  of  James's  own  adventures  may  be 
left  over  for  a  little  while. 

It  will  not  be  disputed  that  the  Count  de  Lauzun, 
to  whom,  despite  Riva's  reticence,  we  give  the  main  credit, 
had  managed  the  affair  very  well,  and  when  the  yacht 
was  moored  to  the  wharf  at  Calais  he  counted  on  a  very 
brilliant  reception  at  Versailles,  where  he  hoped  to  pose 
as  the  rescuer  of  a  distressed  Queen  and  Prince.  No 
doubt  so  good  a  manager  carefully  rehearsed  the  scene 
in  his  own  mind.  Lauzun,  the  champion  of  distressed 
royalty,  was  to  be  the  centre  of  the  picture  he  conjured 
up  as  occurring  at  Versailles  rather  than  the  English 
royalties  themselves. 

If  such  were  his  dreams  before  arriving,  they  were 
destined  to  a  rude  disillusionment  on  landing.  Awaiting  him 
was  the  lieutenant  of  the  Governor  of  Calais  and  Picardy, 
the  Due  de  Bethune-Charost,  and  the  first  question 
addressed  to  him  was  an  enquiry  for  the  names  of  his  party. 
Lauzun,  conceiving  it  to  be  necessary  for  the  success  of  his 
project  that  the  Queen's  presence  should  not  be  known, 
or  at  least  that  he  should,  before  divulging  it,  get  his  own 
courier  off  first  to  carry  the  news  to  Versailles,  declined  to 
give  them.  He  replied  in  general  terms  that  he  was  the 
Count  de  Lauzun  and  that  he  had  some  ladies  with  him 
under  his  protection.  The  lieutenant  reported  the  reply 
to  the  Due  de  Bethune,  who  then  appeared  on  the  scene 
in  person.  The  Due  said  with  quiet  irony  to  the  Count 
that  if  he  did  not  give  him  the  ladies'  names  he  would  have 
to  ask  them  himself. 

Concealment  being  no  longer  possible,  Lauzun  admitted 
that  it  was  the  Queen  of  England  whom  he  was  escorting, 
and  the  Due  de  Bethune,  having  welcomed  Her  Majesty 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         21 

to  France  in  the  name  of  his  royal  master,  sent  off  an 
express  courier  to  convey  the  news  in  his  own  name,  and  not 
Lauzun's,  to  Versailles.  At  the  same  time  he  informed 
the  Queen  that  as  there  was  no  suitable  accommodation  for 
her  at  Calais,  carriages  would  be  provided  as  quickly  as 
possible  to  drive  her  to  Boulogne,  where  the  Due  d'Aumont 
held  his  chateau  in  readiness  for  Her  Majesty's  reception. 
On  December  22  the  Queen  reached  Boulogne,  where  she 
found  it  reported  that  her  husband  had  been  captured 
during  his  attempt  to  follow  her,  and  thrown  into  prison. 
The  poor  Queen,  whose  affection  for  her  husband  was 
immense  and  only  stimulated  by  his  misfortunes,  declared 
that  she  would  return  at  once  to  England  to  "  share  his 

This  step  was  naturally  not  at  all  to  Lauzun's  liking, 
as  it  threatened  to  upset  not  only  his  own  plans,  but  those 
of  his  Government,  and  he  employed  all  the  arguments 
he  could  think  of  to  dissuade  the  Queen  from  taking  it. 
He  succeeded  so  far  as  to  induce  her  to  consent  to  wait  for 
the  receipt  of  further  and  more  definite  news.  Expresses 
were  sent  off  to  Paris  to  warn  Louis  of  this  inclination, 
and  orders  were  issued  thereupon  to  hasten  the  preparation 
of  St.  Germains.  Indeed,  it  was  clear  that  the  sooner  the 
Oueen  took  the  road  for  Paris  the  better  for  the  full 
satisfaction  of  French  political  requirements. 

But  snow  covered  the  country,  the  highways  were  in  a 
bad  state,  and  above  all  the  definite  instructions  of  the 
Great  King  had  not  been  issued.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  there 
had  been  a  change  of  plan  at  the  eleventh  hour.  Orders 
had  been  given  to  prepare  Vincennes,  but  Vincennes  was 
inconveniently  situated  with  regard  to  Versailles,  and  St. 
Germains  was  substituted  for  it  at  the  last  moment.  But 
many  preparations  had  to  be  made  there,  and  King  Louis 
had  decided  to  send  his  own  carriages  to  Boulogne  for  the 
Queen's  journey.  All  these  arrangements  filled  up  the 
fortnight  between  the  landing  at  Calais  and  the  departure 
from  Boulogne. 


Madame  de  Sevigne  mentions  in  one  of  her  letters  that 
"  the  King  is  sending  three  of  his  carriages  with  ten  horses 
apiece,  litters,  pages,  footmen,  guards,  and  officers  to 
Boulogne  for  the  Queen  of  England's  journey."  Another 
chronicler  avers  that  Louis  sent  pioneers  to  make  a  straight 
road  across  the  country,  but  this  need  not  be  accepted  too 
literally.  Mary  of  Modena  had  brought  away  but  a 
slender  wardrobe,  and  while  at  Boulogne  she  was  visited 
by  the  Duchess  of  Portsmouth  (Charles  IPs  mistress),  who 
placed  her  wardrobe  at  the  Queen's  disposal.  The  Duchess 
was  not  received  on  this  occasion,  or,  indeed,  until  some 
months  later  when  the  Stuart  Court  was  formally  estab- 
lished at  St.  Germains,  but  the  Queen  accepted  some  of  the 
articles  which  were  most  indispensable  to  her.  At  last,  on 
January  4,  1689,  the  Queen  left  Boulogne  in  the  King's 
carnages,  and  along  the  whole  of  the  route  she  was  received 
with  royal  honours.  At  Beaumont,  where  she  passed  the 
night  of  the  5th,  the  joyful  news  reached  her  that  her 
husband  had  landed  at  Ambleteuse  the  day  before,  and 
her  anxiety  as  to  his  personal  safety  being  thus  removed, 
it  was  with  better  heart  she  set  out  on  the  last  stage  of  her 
journey  to  the  chateau,  which  was  to  be  her  home  for 
thirty  years. 

Whatever  political  motives  may  have  inspired  Louvois, 
King  Louis  was  actuated  by  a  chivalric  desire  to  succour  a 
brother  sovereign  in  distress  when  he  gave  shelter  to  the 
exiled  Stuart  King  and  his  family.  Never  was  royal 
hospitality  bestowed  with  more  cordiality,  generosity,  and 
tender  regard  for  the  feelings  of  those  who  had  lost  the  state 
to  which  they  were  born  and  had  inherited  by  right  divine, 
than  by  the  King  of  France  on  this  occasion  to  King 
James  and  Queen  Mary.  He  had  marked  out  a  line  of 
conduct  for  himself  in  this  role  of  combined  host  and 
protector  that  remains  a  model  for  all  time,  and  he  never 
swerved  from  it  under  the  very  different  circumstances  of 
the  closing  ten  years  of  his  reign.  When  he  first  received 
the  exiles  he  was  the  Roi  Soleil  and  the  arbiter  of  Europe, 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.   GERMAINS         23 

but  the  misfortunes  and  calamities  of  the  Spanish  Succes- 
sion War  produced  no  change  in  his  attitude  or  action. 

When  he  learnt  that  the  Queen  had  left  Boulogne,  he 
sent  the  Marquis  Dangeau  and  other  high  courtiers  to  offer 
her  a  welcome  in  his  name  at  Beaumont,  and  on  the 
following  day  he  drove  out  to  Chatou,  a  league  west  of  St. 
Germains  through  the  forest,  to  await  her  arrival.  He  was 
accompanied  in  his  carriage  by  Monseigneur  (his  eldest  son, 
the  Dauphin)  and  by  Monsieur  (his  brother,  the  Due 
d'Orleans),  and  the  whole  Court  followed  in  coach  and 
carriage  to  witness  the  meeting.  Arrived  at  the  extremity 
of  the  forest  the  courtiers,  descending  from  their  carriages, 
which  lined  both  sides  of  the  avenue,  formed  a  circle,  while 
in  the  centre  remained  the  King's  state  carriage  drawn  by  a 
team  of  ten  horses.  Shortly  it  was  announced  that  the  car- 
riages of  the  Queen  of  England  were  in  sight,  and  at  once  the 
King  got  out  of  his  carriage,  leaving  the  Princes,  as  etiquette 
required,  to  await  his  return. 

In  the  first  carriage  were  the  Prince  of  Wales,  Lady  Powis, 
Madame  Davia,  and  the  nurses,  and  as  the  King  approached 
the  ladies  were  about  to  bring  out  the  baby,  when  he 
stopped  them  with  a  gesture,  and  entering  the  carriage 
took  the  child  in  his  arms,  praised  his  beauty,  and  kissing 
him  declared  that  he  would  be  his  protector.  Then, 
leaving  him,  he  found  that  the  Queen  had  descended  from 
her  carriage,  and  hastening  towards  her  at  the  little  running 
pace,  which  conveys  in  France  the  height  of  welcome  and 
em-pressement,  and  which  no  one  but  a  French  courtier 
could  execute  without  losing  dignity,  the  King  welcomed 
her  with  both  hands,  kissing  her  lightly  on  both  cheeks 
and  declaring  that  he  and  everything  he  possessed  was  at 
her  disposal. 

Then,  leading  the  way,  he  escorted  the  Queen,  carrying 
on  an  animated  conversation  all  the  time,  to  his  own 
carriage,  into  which  she  entered,  and  here  Monseigneur  and 
Monsieur  were  duly  presented  to  her.  The  cortege  then 
proceeed  to  the  chateau,  where  everything  was  in  readiness, 


including  a  guard  of  honour  of  the  Maison  du  Roi.  King 
Louis  did  the  honours  in  person,  escorting  the  Queen  to 
her  chamber,  where  on  the  table  was  placed  a  beautiful 
casket  containing  sixty  thousand  francs  for  her  personal 
requirements.  All  the  furnishing  had  been  done  by 
Tourolle,  the  King's  own  tapissier,  and  when  the  King  took 
his  departure  it  was  with  the  expression  of  the  hope  that 
"  Her  Majesty,  his  dear  sister,  would  find  herself  quite  at 

The  next  day  there  was  a  repetition  to  some  extent 
of  the  same  scene  when  King  James  arrived,  for  he  was 
only  twenty-four  hours  behind  the  Queen,  and  as  he 
travelled  with  less  ceremony  his  movements  were  more 
rapid.  In  fact,  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  who,  as  will  be 
described  later  on,  had  escaped  with  the  King  from  England, 
reached  St.  Germains  in  the  evening  of  the  day  of  the 
Queen's  arrival,  having  been  sent  on  in  advance  to  inform 
her  of  James's  journey  and  near  approach.  King  James 
passed  the  night  of  the  6th  at  Breteuil,  and  the  next 
morning  he  set  out  early  with  the  intention  of  visiting 
King  Louis  at  Versailles  before  proceeding  to  St.  Germains. 
This  detour  led  to  some  delay  in  his  reaching  St.  Germains, 
where  the  King  of  France  had  gone  to  receive  him  on  his 

Louis,  again  accompanied  by  Monseigneur  and  Monsieur, 
proceeded  to  St.  Germains  in  the  afternoon  of  January  7  to 
enquire  after  the  health  of  the  Queen,  and  to  receive  her 
husband  on  his  arrival.  It  was,  perhaps,  owing  to  the 
delayed  arrival  of  James  that  Louis  had  half  an  hour's  talk 
with  the  Queen  in  her  bedroom,  where  she  was  in  bed, 
and  when  the  King  of  England's  approach  was  announced 
the  grand  saloon  and  staircase  were  so  crowded  with 
courtiers  that  Louis  could  not  get  through  the  crush  in  time 
to  reach  the  courtyard,  cour  d'honneur,  where  he  had 
intended  to  receive  his  guest.  He  was  consequently 
obliged  at  the  last  moment  to  change  the  place  of  reception 
to  the  entrance  of  the  Salle  des  Gardes. 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.   GERMAINS         25 

Here  he  received  James  in  the  most  cordial  manner, 
embracing  him  several  times,  and  having  talked  with  him 
for  a  little  while  with  great  animation,  he  led  him,  holding 
his  hand  in  his  own,  to  his  wife's  chamber,  where  he 
addressed  the  Queen  in  these  words :  "  Madam,  I  bring 
you  a  man  whom  you  will  be  very  glad  to  see."  Then, 
making  the  excuse  that  he  would  go  and  see  the  young 
Prince,  gracefully  to  leave  the  restored  husband  and  wife 
alone  for  a  little  time,  he  retired.  On  his  return  James 
came  out  to  escort  him  to  his  carriage,  but  Louis  stopped 
him.  "  No,  you  are  to-day  my  guest.  To-morrow  you 
will  come  and  see  me  at  Versailles  as  we  have  arranged. 
I  will  do  you  the  honours  as  you  will  do  them  to  me  the 
next  time  I  come  to  St.  Germains,  and  afterwards  we  shall 
live  together  without  ceremony."  The  main  facts  in  this 
description  are  taken  from  Dangeau's  Memoirs. 

Madame  de  Sevigne  described  these  scenes  in  a  letter 
dated  three  days  later. 

"  Le  Roi  fait  pour  ses  Majestes  anglaises  des  choses 
toutes  divines,  car  n'est-ce  point  etre  I'image  du  Tout 
Puissant  que  de  soutenir  un  roi  chasse,  trahi  et  abandonne 
comme  il  est  ?  La  belle  ame  du  Roi  se  plait  a  jouer  ce 
grand  role.  II  fut  au  devant  de  la  reine  avec  toute  sa 
maison  et  cent  carrosses  a  six  chevaux.  Quand  il  apercut  le 
carrosse  du  Prince  de  Galles  il  descendit  et  ne  voulut  pas 
que  ce  petit  enfant  beau  comme  un  ange,  a  ce  qu'on  dit, 
descendit ;  il  1'embrassa  tendrement ;  puis  il  courut  au 
devant  de  la  reine  qui  etait  descendue  ;  il  la  salua,  lui 
parla  quelque  temps,  la  mit  a  sa  droite  dans  son  carrosse  et 
lui  presenta  Monseigneur  et  Monsieur  qui  furent  aussi 
dans  le  carrosse  et  la  mena  a  St.  Germain  ou  elle  se  trouva 
toute  servie  comme  la  reine,  de  toutes  sortes  de  hardes  et 
une  cassette  tres  riche  avec  six  mille  louis  d'or. 

"  Le  lendemain  le  roi  d'Angleterre  devait  arriver. 
Le  roi  1'attendait  a  St.  Germain.  II  y  arriva  tard  parcequ'il 
venait  de  Versailles.  Enfin  le  Roi  alia  au  bout  de  la  salle 
des  Gardes  au-devant  de  lui.  Le  roi  d'Angleterre  se 


baissa  fort  comme  s'il  cut  voulu  embrasser  ses  genoux. 
Le  Roi  1'en  empecha  et  1'embrassa  a  trois  ou  quatre 
reprises  fort  cordialement.  Us  se  parlerent  bas  un  quart 
d'heure.  Le  Roi  lui  presenta  Monseigneur,  Monsieur, 
les  princes  du  sang,  et  le  Cardinal  de  Bonzi.  II  le  mena 
ensuite  dans  la  chambre  de  la  reine  qui  eut  peine  a  retenir 
ses  larmes.  Us  furent  quelque  temps  a  causer,  puis  le  Roi 
les  mena  chez  le  Prince  de  Galles  ou  ils  furent  encore 
quelque  temps  et  les  y  laissa  ne  voulant  point  etre  reconduit, 
et  disant  au  roi  Jacques  :  '  Voici  votre  maison  ;  quand  j'y 
viendrai  vous  m'en  ferez  les  honneurs,  et  je  vous  les  ferai 
quand  vous  viendrez  a  Versailles.' ' 

Although  the  story  is  well  known,  it  is  not  possible  to 
omit  all  account  of  King  James's  own  escape  from  England. 
Unlike  the  Queen's,  his  adventure  was  full  of  excitement, 
and  it  was  only  at  the  second  attempt  that  he  got  in  safety 
out  of  the  country. 

True  to  his  promise  to  the  Queen,  he  made  all  his  arrange- 
ments to  follow  her  the  next  night  as  soon  as  Saint  Victor 
brought  the  news  of  her  departure  from  Gravesend. 
Among  his  final  acts  of  authority  was  to  write  an  order  to 
Lord  Feversham  (Duras),  commanding  his  troops,  to  make 
no  further  opposition  and  to  disband  his  men.  His  own 
departure  was  fixed  for  the  night  of  December  20  (N.S.), 
and  about  midnight  he  left  Whitehall  accompanied  by 
Sir  Edward  Hales  and  M.  de  1'Abadie,  his  groom  of  the 
chamber  and  the  husband  of  the  Prince  of  Wales's  dry 
nurse.  They  took  the  first  hackney  coach  they  saw  and 
drove  to  the  horse  ferry.  Here  M.  de  1'Abadie  left  them, 
and  the  King  with  his  companion  or  companions,  for  there 
seems  no  reason  to  doubt  that  Saint  Victor,  although  un- 
named, was  with  him,  entered  the  boat  to  be  rowed  across  to 
Vauxhall.  The  tide  ran  strong,  and  the  King  helped  the 
boatman  by  himself  taking  a  pair  of  oars.  On  the  southern 
side  horses,  held  by  Sir  Edward's  quartermaster  and  a  man 
who  knew  the  road  to  act  as  guide,  were  in  readiness,  and  the 
whole  party  reached  the  Medway  at  Alford  bridge  about 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         27 

seven  in  the  morning  without  molestation.  Here  a  relay  of 
fresh  horses,  provided  by  Mr.  Ralph  Sheldon,  one  of  James's 
equerries,  was  in  waiting,  and  Faversham  was  reached  at 
ten  o'clock.  The  custom-house  hoy  had  been  hired, 
apparently  by  Sheldon,  to  convey  the  party  to  France,  but 
when  the  passengers  were  on  board  the  master  stated  that 
he  had  not  enough  ballast  on  to  put  to  sea.  The  King  as 
a  practical  seaman  saw  that  this  was  true,  but  the  delay 
proved  fatal,  and  a  comparative  trifle  not  merely  prevented 
the  escape,  but  placed  the  King's  life  in  jeopardy. 

The  boat  dropped  a  little  down  the  river  to  fill  up  with 
sand,  and  after  some  hours'  labour  the  work  was  finished, 
and  everything  was  again  ready  for  a  start,  when  three 
boats  filled  with  armed  men  arrived  from  Faversham  and 
boarded  the  hoy.  Resistance  being  out  of  the  question, 
it  was  hoped  that  the  King  might  not  be  recognised,  and 
indeed  he  was  not  until  brought  back  to  Faversham,  where 
he  had  some  narrow  escapes  from  mob  violence,  which  it 
is  unnecessary  to  describe.  On  December  26  the  King 
was  back  in  Whitehall.  To  the  astonishment  of  the  Prince 
of  Orange,  and  perhaps  also  of  the  King  himself,  his  return 
was  made  the  occasion  of  much  public  rejoicing.  In  London 
there  were  "  such  bonfires,  ringing  of  bells  and  all  imaginable 
marks  of  love  and  esteem  as  made  it  look  more  like  a  day 
of  triumph  than  humiliation." 

It  was  under  the  impression  caused  by  this  incident  that 
the  Prince  of  Orange  resorted  to  extreme  measures. 
He  sent  his  Dutch  Guards,  under  Count  Solmes,  to  turn 
out  the  King's  Guards  at  Whitehall,  and  although  the 
stout-hearted  old  Earl  of  Craven  would  have  fought  to 
maintain  his  post,  James  forbade  useless  bloodshed.  When 
the  Palace  was  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  Dutch,  the 
King  retired  to  rest  and  went  fast  asleep.  But  his  trials 
for  the  day  were  not  over.  A  peremptory  order  came  late 
at  night  that  the  King  should  leave  before  nine  the  next 
morning  for  Ham,  and  despite  his  protests  the  Earl  of 
Middleton  was  forced  to  convey  the  news  to  his  royal 


master  while  he  slept.  The  scene  has  been  often  described 
how,  kneeling  beside  the  King's  bed,  he  whispered  the 
message  in  his  ear. 

James  protested  merely  against  the  choice  of  Ham  as 
"  an  ill  winter  house  and  at  that  time  almost  unfurnished," 
and  said  he  would  much  prefer  to  return  to  Rochester,  where 
the  Prince  had  expressed  a  regret  that  he  had  not  stayed. 
This  reasonable  wish  was  conveyed  to  the  Prince  of  Orange, 
then  at  Sion  House,  and  he  consented  to  the  change. 
He  was  probably  glad  of  it,  for  at  this  period  his  greatest 
desire  was  to  get  James  safely  out  of  the  country.  At  the 
same  time  he  sent  James  a  blank  pass  for  one  person  to 
leave  the  country,  ostensibly  for  a  messenger  to  proceed 
from  him  to  the  Queen  in  France ;  but  it  is  impossible 
not  to  see  in  it  the  conveyance  of  a  hint  to  the  King  that  he 
might  himself  be  off. 

When  James  got  to  Rochester  the  second  time  there  was 
further  evidence  to  the  same  effect,  for  while  the  front  of 
his  residence  was  closely  guarded  with  sentinels,  the  back 
door,  and  that  the  one  nearest  to  the  river,  was  left  un- 
guarded and  ostentatiously  open.  For  three  nights,  Decem- 
ber 29-31  (N.S.),  King  James  slept  at  Rochester  while  his 
friends  were  completing  their  plans  for  his  escape.  There 
were  among  them  men  whom  we  shall  meet  under  different 
circumstances — General  Sutherland,  Sir  John  Talbot,  and 
Lord  Griffin  ;  but  the  two  officers  who  arranged  for  the 
shallop  to  be  ready  to  carry  the  King  to  France  were  Captains 
Trevanion  and  Macdonnell  (probably  Ronald  Macdonald), 
and  as  he  was  one  of  the  party  it  is  not  unreasonable  to 
suppose  that  the  young  Duke  of  Berwick  took  some  active 
part  in  it  as  well.  Berwick  does  not  seem  to  have  been  with 
the  King  on  the  first  journey  to  Faversham.  He  had  been 
with  Lord  Feversham's  army,  and  probably  had  not  got 
back  in  time. 

On  the  night  of  January  I,  1689  (N.S.,  or  December  22, 
1688,  O.S.),  the  King  retired  as  usual,  but  as  soon  as  all 
was  quiet  Captain  Macdonnell  came  to  him,  and  leading 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         29 

him  out  by  the  back  door  and  through  the  garden  brought 
him  to  the  place  where  Captain  Trevanion  was  waiting  by 
the  boat.  James,  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  the  two  captains 
and  a  Mr.  Biddulph  got  into  the  boat,  which  was  pulled 
down  the  river  to  join  the  smack  off  Sheerness.  The  wind 
and  tide  were  so  much  against  them  that  they  could  not 
reach  her,  and  the  King's  party  was  obliged  to  take  shelter 
on  board  the  "  Eagle  "  fireship  commanded  by  an  officer  of 
whose  loyalty  James  felt  assured.  When  it  became  broad 
daylight  on  January  2  the  smack  was  discovered  at  no 
great  distance  sheltering  in  the  Swale,  and  although  it  was 
still  blowing  half  a  gale  the  King  insisted  on  going  on 
board  her.  The  next  night  had  to  be  passed  in  shelter 
under  the  lee  of  the  Essex  shore,  and  the  following  day 
they  got  as  far  as  the  buoy  of  the  Red  Sand,  where  they 
waited  throughout  the  night. 

The  wind  having  by  this  time  greatly  fallen  they  set 
sail  early  in  the  morning  of  the  4th,  and  making  a  quick 
passage,  although  not  able  to  get  into  Calais,  reached 
Ambleteuse  in  safety  the  same  day.  Owing  to  the  delay 
in  getting  out  of  the  Thames  provisions  ran  short,  and 
Captain  Trevanion,  an  officer  of  the  Royal  Navy,  cooked  a 
rasher  of  bacon  for  the  King  in  a  pan  with  a  hole  in  it,  and 
gave  him  to  drink  "  out  of  an  old  furred  can  tied  round 
with  a  cord."  Yet  such  is  the  force  of  need  that  James 
declared  that  he  had  never  enjoyed  a  meal  more  heartily 
in  his  life. 

And  so  King  James  landed  in  France  on  Old  Christmas 
Day,  1688,  equivalent  to  January  4,  1689,  or  fifteen  days 
after  the  arrival  of  his  wife  and  son  at  Calais  as  described. 
By  a  curious  circumstance  his  younger  natural  son,  then 
called  Lord  Henry  Fitzjames,  who  was  serving  as  a  mid- 
shipman in  the  English  Navy,  was  landed  by  Lord  Dart- 
mouth's order  from  a  man-of-war  at  Boulogne  on  the 
same  day,  and  joined  his  father  and  the  Duke  of  Berwick 
a  few  hours  later.  The  Duke  of  Berwick  was  at  once  sent 
off  to  carry  the  news  of  the  King's  landing  to  Versailles  and 


St.  Germains,  and  was  received  by  the  Queen  during  the 
evening  of  the  day  of  her  arrival. 

One  other  passenger  connected  with  these  incidents 
claims  notice.  The  Count  de  Lauzun,  after  the  Queen 
took  up  her  residence  at  Boulogne,  left  for  Paris,  and  was 
ordered  to  Versailles  to  give  King  Louis  an  account  of  the 
Queen's  escape.  On  January  i,  1689,  he  was  given  an 
audience  of  three-quarters  of  an  hour.  Madame  de  Sevigne, 
who  was  personally  well-disposed  towards  him,  treated  the 
episode  as  almost  heroic,  and  wrote  the  words  :  "  Lauzun 
a  trouve  le  chemin  de  Versailles  en  passant  par  Londres." 
There  was  one  person,  however,  who  refused  to  change 
her  opinion  about  him — the  Grande  Mademoiselle,  the 
lady  who  had  caused  Lauzun  to  be  put  in  the  Bastille. 

King  Louis,  before  he  gave  the  Count  permission  to  come 
to  Court,  wrote  to  his  cousin  to  inform  her  of  his  intention 
to  do  so  on  account  of  his  fine  conduct  in  rescuing  the 
Queen  of  England,  and  he  begged  the  lady  not  to  be  cross 
about  it.  She  could  not  oppose  the  King,  but  she  did  not 
change  her  views  about  Lauzun,  for,  as  Voltaire  wrote  : 
"  Les  Franchises  portent  rancune,"  and  when  he  sent  her  a 
letter  advising  her  of  his  return  not  merely  to  France  but 
to  the  King's  favour,  she  threw  it  in  the  fire.  Her  relentless 
attitude  towards  the  man  who  had  once  enjoyed  her 
special  favour,  and  who  had  been  named  in  her  first  will  as 
her  sole  heir,  strengthens  the  presumption  that  they  had 
been  secretly  married.  The  Count  was  five  years  her 
junior,  which  may  perhaps  explain  much  that  is  mysterious 
in  regard  to  the  breach  in  their  relations.  Although  Lauzun 
was  allowed  to  present  himself  at  Court,  he  was  not 
restored  to  all  his  old  privileges ;  for  instance,  he  did  not 
receive  the  right  of  the  grande  entree^  and  when  he  was 
created  a  Due  by  the  special  request  of  Queen  Mary  a  little 
later,  it  was  in  the  restricted  form,  not  carrying  with  it 
a  French  peerage  (paire  de  France),  and  thus  giving  him 
no  higher  precedence. 

King  James  paid  his  return  visit  to  King  Louis  at  Ver- 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         31 

sallies  on  the  day  following  his  arrival  at  St.  Germains. 
He  arrived  there  at  four  o'clock,  but  earlier  in  the  day 
an  amusing  little  incident  had  occurred  which  brings  out 
the  severe  etiquette  of  the  French  Court  and  the  curious 
anomalies  that  arose  from  the  presence  of  a  new  King 
and  Queen.  The  Dauphiness,  the  wife  of  Monseigneur, 
was  the  first  lady  of  the  French  Court,  and  as  she  was 
a  German  Princess  not  altogether  happy  or  at  her  ease 
in  her  surroundings,  she  clung  to  all  her  privileges  with 
rigid  tenacity.  She  had  taken  no  part  in  the  meetings 
at  St.  Germains,  and  the  uppermost  question  in  her  mind 
was  how  she  could  avoid  calling  first  on  the  Queen  of 
England.  Queen  Mary  was  also  very  sensitive  about  her 
own  dignity,  and  when  she  was  informed  that  the  Dau- 
phiness was  indisposed  and  confined  to  her  apartments, 
she  decided  to  find  out  how  far  the  illness  was  true  or 
simulated.  She  therefore  instructed  her  Grand  Chamber- 
lain, the  Marquis  of  Powis,  to  drive  over  to  Versailles, 
in  the  morning  of  January  8,  and  enquire  in  Her  Majesty's 
name  as  to  the  health  of  the  Princess.  He  was  also  in- 
structed to  make  a  point  of  seeing  her. 

The  Marquis  of  Powis  was  one  of  the  most  distinguished 
members  of  the  English  aristocracy,  and  he  and  his  wife, 
Lady  Elisabeth  Somerset,  had  kept  aloof  from  the 
scandalous  Court  life  of  Charles  IPs  reign.  His  loyalty 
and  devotion  to  his  sovereign  were  beyond  question, 
and  he  had  left  behind  him  a  fine  estate,  producing  one 
of  the  greatest  incomes  in  England  at  that  period,  to  follow 
King  James  to  France.  But  he  was  only  a  Marquis, 
and  the  Dauphiness  had  her  reasons  for  not  wishing  to 
be  seen.  When  Lord  Powis  reached  Versailles  he  was 
received  by  the  Chamberlain  and  other  dignitaries  forming 
the  Court  of  the  Princess,  and  in  reply  to  his  enquiries 
he  was  informed  that  the  Dauphiness  was  still  indisposed 
and  confined  to  her  apartments.  Lord  Powis  replied 
by  begging  permission  to  be  received,  as  his  royal  mistress's 
concern  was  so  great  that  she  would  be  content  with 


nothing  short  of  a  personal  report  from  himself.  Tne 
request  was  passed  up  to  the  wife  of  the  heir  of  France 
with  the  lord's  name ;  but  when  she  heard  that  his  title 
was  only  that  of  Marquis  she  retorted  that  she  could  not 
receive  persons  with  a  half-and-half  sort  of  title,  and 
that  only  Dukes  could  be  admitted  to  her  apartments. 
Her  true  reason  will  be  made  clear  in  the  sequel,  but 
the  direct  consequence  of  her  refusal  to  receive  the  Marquis 
of  Powis  was  that  four  days  later  James  raised  him  to  the 
rank  of  a  Duke. 

It  was  some  hours  after  this  that  King  James,  attended 
by  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  arrived  at  Versailles,  where  he 
was  received  by  King  Louis,  and  after  some  conversation, 
visited  in  their  turn  in  their  separate  apartments  the 
Dauphiness  (who  was  in  bed),  the  Dauphin,  and  Monsieur. 
Strict  formality  was  observed  as  to  the  King's  reception 
in  each  quarter  of  the  Palace,  and  as  to  the  exact  point 
to  which  the  particular  Prince  of  the  Blood  on  whom 
he  called  was  to  escort  him  on  retiring.  The  two  Kings 
then  rejoined  company,  and  passed  through  the  grand 
saloons  engaged  in  animated  conversation,  and  the  ob- 
servant Dangeau  reports  that  James  displayed  a  complete 
knowledge  of  art,  china,  faience,  and  furniture. 

The  Queen's  first  visit  to  Versailles  was  delayed  by  the 
fact  that  her  new  dress  was  not  ready ;  but  when  it  was 
she  drove  over  in  state,  accompanied  by  the  Duchess  of 
Powis  and  her  two  ladies-in-waiting,  Lady  Sophia  Bulkeley 
and  Countess  d'Almonde  (the  Montecuculli),  to  call 
upon  the  Dauphiness.  Out  of  consideration  for  her 
indisposition  the  Queen  had  waived  the  right  to  receive 
the  first  visit,  but  we  are  told  that  when  she  entered  the 
Princess's  bedchamber  and  found  her  up  and  dressed, 
she  was  somewhat  taken  aback.  Louis  had  accompanied 
the  Queen  into  the  room,  but  as  the  Princess  could  not 
sit  down  in  the  King's  presence,  he  considerately  with- 
drew. The  formalities  were  thus  got  over  ;  but  in  this 
case  no  cordial  relations  were  established,  and  indeed 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.   GERMAINS        33 

the  Dauphiness,  who  died  in  1693,  took  very  little  part 
in  the  ceremonies  of  the  French  Court  during  the  last 
few  years  of  her  life.  On  the  other  hand,  she  wrote  a 
good  deal  about  it,  and  always  as  a  severe  and  caustic 
critic,  in  the  letters  to  her  relations  in  Germany. 

Many  questions  of  etiquette  arose  during  the  first  few 
days  after  the  formation  of  the  Court  at  St.  Germains,  and 
they  were  not  so  easily  solved  as  on  the  earlier  occasion  of 
Stuart  exile  when  Henrietta  Maria  abode  there.  Charles  Ps 
wife  was  not  merely  a  Frenchwoman,  but  she  was  fille 
de  France  (that  is,  Princess  of  France),  and  easily  accommo- 
dated herself  to  the  French  etiquette  in  which  she  had 
been  brought  up.  But  Queen  Mary  was  not  French, 
and  the  Court  etiquette  to  which  she  had  been  accustomed 
was  that  of  England,  which  differed  materially  from  what 
was  the  vogue  at  Versailles.  Two  striking  differences 
offered  thorny  problems  in  those  early  days. 

In  England  the  Queen  did  not  kiss  men,  even  Princes 
of  the  blood.  In  France  Princes  of  the  blood  had  the 
right  to  kiss  the  Queen  of  France.  When  Queen  Mary 
omitted  to  kiss  Monseigneur  and  Monsieur  at  their  first 
meeting  they  were  quite  huffed. 

A  more  difficult  matter  related  to  the  Queen's  reception 
of  Princesses  and  Duchesses.  By  French  etiquette  Prin- 
cesses and  Duchesses  were  offered  seats  by  the  reigning 
Queen,  but  they  were  not  kissed  by  her.  By  English 
etiquette  Princesses  and  Duchesses  were  kissed  by  the 
Queen,  but  not  offered  seats.  Henrietta  Maria  had 
adopted  the  French  mode  ;  but  she  had  sought  to  extend 
it  by  kissing  those  Duchesses  whose  husbands  were  Marshals 
of  France  (Duchesses-Marechales),  and  also  the  ladies 
of  the  Court  (Household).  This  innovation  was  purely 
personal,  and  had  not  been  continued  after  her  time. 

In  the  first  receptions  Queen  Mary  followed  the  English 
etiquette,  which  led  to  some  confusion  and  much  heart- 
burning among  the  great  French  ladies  whose  highest 
privilege  was  to  be  seated.  The  Queen  had  the  good 


sense  to  see  that  the  position  was  strained  and  would  soon 
become  intolerable.  So  she  referred  the  point  at  their 
next  interview  to  Louis,  who  had  been  rather  upset  by 
the  representations  made  to  him  on  the  subject.  Louis 
liked  above  all  things  a  Court  in  which  everything  went 
smoothly  on  the  surface  ;  at  the  same  time  he  did  not 
see  how  as  host  he  could  say  anything  to  the  Queen  on 
the  subject.  Mary  d'Este,  therefore,  gave  him  sincere 
pleasure  when  she  addressed  him  in  the  following  words 
almost  immediately  after  the  first  complaints  began  to 
reach  his  ears  : — 

"  Dites-moi  comment  vous  voulez  que  je  fasse.  Si  vous 
voulez  que  ce  soit  a  la  mode  de  France  je  saluerai  qui  vous 
voudrez  ;  pour  la  mode  d'Angleterre  c'est  que  je  ne  baisais 

In  a  few  delicately  turned  sentences  King  Louis  inti- 
mated that,  if  it  would  not  be  personally  irksome  to  the 
Queen,  it  might  be  as  well  to  adopt  French  etiquette  as  had 
been  done  by  Henrietta  Maria.  Thus  were  the  troubled 
waters  calmed.  Monseigneur  and  Monsieur  received  the 
sisterly  kiss,  and  the  Princesses  and  Duchesses  were  to  be 
offered  their  seats  on  visiting  the  Queen  at  St.  Ger- 

Louis  certainly  deserved  this  little  consideration  to  be 
shown  to  him  in  return  for  all  that  he  had  done  for  the 
Stuarts ;  but  his  opinion  of  Queen  Mary  d'Este,  which 
had  from  the  first  been  favourable,  was  immensely  raised 
by  the  good  sense  and  feeling  she  displayed  on  this  occasion. 
He  repeatedly  expressed  the  opinion  in  the  hearing  of  his 
chief  courtiers  that  she  was  "  the  model  of  what  a  Queen 
should  be,  and  that  she  bore  her  misfortunes  heroically." 
For  the  harmony  of  Versailles  it  was  satisfactory  that  she 
made  the  same  favourable  impression  on  all  the  Court. 
Madame  de  Sevigne  gave  what  may  be  called  the  verdict 
of  society  in  the  following  description  : — 

"  La  reine  est  maigre,  avec  des  yeux  qui  ont  pleure  mais 
beaux  et  noirs,  un  beau  teint  un  peu  pale,  la  bouche  grande, 

THE   ARRIVAL    AT   ST.    GERMAINS         35 

de  belles  dents,  une  belle  taille,  et  bien  de  1'esprit ;  une  per- 
sonne  fort  posee  qui  plait  fort." 

There  were  other  and  more  serious  matters  to  be  settled 
with  the  new  Court  before  the  relations  of  the  two  Kings 
could  be  regarded  as  placed  on  a  permanent  footing.  The 
Stuart  sovereigns  were  literally  penniless.  Queen  Mary 
had  brought  away  with  her  a  considerable  portion  of  her 
jewels.  But  James  had  carried  off  nothing  save  the  Queen's 
bodkin  with  a  great  diamond  in  the  button  of  it,  and  his 
coronation  ring.  At  least  he  had  saved  them  at  Faversham 
on  his  first  flight,  and  it  is  probable  that  he  retained  them 
about  his  person.  Reference  has  been  made  to  the  present 
of  6000  pistoles  in  the  cassette  on  the  Queen's  dressing- 
table.  It  remained  to  equip  King  James,  whose  wardrobe 
had  to  be  replenished,  for  he  had  only  the  clothes  he  escaped 
in,  and  to  provide  the  means  of  maintaining  the  Court 
of  St.  Germains.  The  arrangement  was  come  to  that 
Louis  should  give  James  a  sum  of  fifty  thousand  ecus  for 
his  outfit,  and  that  he  should  receive  a  pension  of  fifty 
thousand  francs  a  month.  Louis  wanted  to  give  him  a 
larger  sum,  but,  to  James's  credit  let  it  be  said,  he  refused 
to  accept  more  than  the  lowest  sum  that  would  suffice  to 
maintain  his  Court.  The  Court  itself  was  carried  on  on 
the  most  economical  lines,  and  the  French  officers  who 
happened  to  dine  there  reported  that  the  King  of  England 
kept  a  very  poor  table  (une  table  ires  mediocre). 

For  the  first  month  after  the  arrival  at  St.  Germains  the 
guard  of  honour  was  provided  by  a  section  of  the  Maison 
du  Roi,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant  Saint  Vians 
(Marquis  de  Saint  Viance),  who  gained  so  much  favour 
with  James  that  he  rarely  drove  out  without  him.  But 
many  followers  of  the  Stuarts  had  by  that  time  come  over 
from  England,  and  about  January  20  Lord  and  Lady 
Dover  and  Lord  Dumbarton  landed  at  Calais.  Lord 
Dumbarton  had  commanded  a  regiment  in  the  English 
army  under  King  James,  and  he  brought  with  him  a 
hundred  Irish  soldiers  from  a  corps  that  had  been  dis- 


banded.  It  was  necessary  to  give  these  men  employment, 
and  it  was  also  desirable  that  the  French  King's  personal 
guard,  which  was  composed  of  the  noblest  names  of  France, 
should  not  be  diverted  to  duties  in  attendance  on  a  foreign 
prince  which  were  entirely  alien  to  its  own  proper  functions. 
Moreover,  to  be  part  of  the  sad  Court  of  St.  Germains, 
where  the  cuisine  was  second-rate  and  the  cellar  empty, 
was  straining  the  loyalty  of  men  who  looked  upon  the 
good  living  and  plenty  of  Versailles  as  part  of  their  reward. 
Another  false  position  was  remedied  when  at  the  beginning 
of  February,  1689,  the  Maison  du  Roi  was  withdrawn 
from  St.  Germains,  and  it  was  announced  that  the  officers 
and  troops  arrived  from  England  would  be  turned  into 
a  body-guard  for  King  James.  The  agreeable  and  capable 
Saint  Vians  was  permitted  to  remain  at  St.  Germains,  in 
order  to  train  the  new  guard  in  the  French  fashion. 

There  remains,  before  concluding  this  chapter,  to  refer 
to  one  important  personage,  Madame  de  Maintenon. 
The  Stuarts  were  installed  at  St.  Germains  in  a  little  Court 
of  their  own  ;  they  had  also  established  themselves  quite 
naturally  and  without  friction  in  the  eyes  of  the  French 
Court.  The  Government,  personified  in  Louvois,  had 
accepted  their  presence  for  reasons  of  state.  They  were 
pawns  in  the  great  game  of  politics  that  might  at  some 
stage  or  other  be  of  great  value.  But  there  was  another 
person  whose  opinion  counted,  the  uncrowned  Queen  of 
France,  Madame  de  Maintenon.  Her  opinion  might  always 
be  computed  to  be  worth  as  much  as  a  Council  of  State, 
if  not  more,  and  it  was  the  more  necessary  to  know  what 
that  opinion  would  be  in  this  case,  because  King  Louis 
was  already  credited  by  some  of  his  courtiers  with  a  slightly 
excessive  zeal  for  the  cause  of  Queen  Mary  d'Este,  and  in 
their  view  of  life  excessive  zeal  could  only  mean  that  the 
monarch  was  a  little  epris.  Some  ill-natured  wags  already 
began  to  whisper  what  would  Madame  de  Maintenon  say 
if  she  saw  all  this. 

Madame  de  Maintenon  did  not  often  attend  the  Court, 

THE   ARRIVAL   AT   ST.    GERMAINS         37 


but  she  was  kept  well  informed  of  what  passed  there, 
and  she  saw  Queen  Mary  and  became  her  lifelong  friend. 
Not  thus  had  she  treated  Elisabeth  Hamilton,  Countess  de 
Gramont,  whose  Irish  audacity  had  so  far  attracted  the 
King  by  the  force  of  contrast  that  he  gave  her  a  special 
villa  in  the  park  of  Versailles.  For  her  she  reserved  to  the 
end  the  shafts  of  her  jealousy,  even  when  she  made  her 
second  appearance  at  Court  with  much  of  her  beauty  gone 
and  her  face  disfigured  by  blotches.  But  she  read  Queen 
Mary  at  a  single  interview.  The  poor  Queen  was  wholly 
in  love  with  her  own  husband ;  she  had  forgiven  him  all 
his  infidelities.  The  only  circumstance  she  found  trying 
was  to  see  his  natural  children  around  her,  and  to  bear 
their  presence  she  schooled  herself  as  for  a  martyrdom. 
Besides,  the  two  women  had  one  strong  connecting  link, 
religion.  They  were  both  profoundly  devote. 

King  James,  whatever  his  earlier  failings — on  coming 
to  the  throne  in  1685  he  had  dismissed  Miss  Sedley,  Ara- 
bella Churchill's  successor  as  mistress  en  titre — was  at  this 
period  a  strictly  religious  man,  and  he  looked  to  his  Church 
for  support  and  consolation.  This  feeling  became  in- 
tensified with  his  later  misfortunes,  but  even  in  1689, 
when  he  certainly  had  not  given  up  hope  of  regaining  his 
lost  crown,  he  was  prone  to  regard  his  exile  as  an  earthly 
punishment  for  some  neglect  of  duty  or  offence.  One  of 
his  first  visits  after  the  formal  ceremonies  at  Court  were 
concluded  was  to  Mother  Agnes,  the  Superioress  of  the 
Grandes  Carmes,  who  he  declared  had  converted  him  ; 
and  it  was  a  few  days  after  this  that  Madame  de  Maintenon 
made  one  of  her  rare  appearances  in  the  Grand  Salon  at 
Versailles  in  order  to  be  presented  to  King  James.  From 
those  days  to  the  end  of  the  sad  story — for  the  story 
of  fallen  greatness,  not  through  any  real  fault  of  the 
individuals,  but  by  the  force  of  circumstances,  is  sad — the 
closest  intimacy  existed  between  Madame  de  Maintenon 
and  Queen  Mary.  She  was  always  and  under  every  cir- 
cumstance the  supporter  of  the  Stuart  cause.  To  her, 


more  than  to  any  one  else,  was  due  the  recognition  of 
James  III  as  King  after  his  father's  death  in  1701. 

Enough  has  been  said  for  the  moment  in  the  way  of 
detail  about  the  arrival  of  the  Stuart  exiles  in  France, 
their  reception  by  the  King  of  France,  and  the  establish- 
ment of  the  separate  Court  of  St.  Germains.  The  points 
that  stand  out  in  the  story  are  the  magnanimous  attitude 
of  Louis  XIV,  his  unexampled  hospitality  to  his  guests, 
the  rare  and  bounteous  consideration  for  the  deposed 
sovereigns  displayed  in  his  most  trifling  acts,  and  the  in- 
sistence with  which  he  required  his  Court  to  extend  to 
them  all  the  attributes  and  homage  due  to  royalty.  Even 
his  own  son  and  brother  were  not  exempt  from  these 
commands.  On  the  other  hand,  it  says  a  good  deal  for 
the  tact  of  the  Stuarts  that  there  was  never  at  any  time 
the  smallest  friction  between  the  Courts  of  Versailles 
and  St.  Germains,  and  that  they  coexisted  in  unclouded 
brotherly  relationship  for  the  long  period  of  a  quarter 
of  a  century.  When  the  relationship  terminated  the 
great  King  lay  dying,  and  the  most  disastrous  of  France's 
many  wars  was  closing  in  a  peace  dictated,  so  far  as  the 
Stuarts  were  concerned  in  it,  by  the  conquerors. 

Chapter  II 



political  considerations  of  the  time  must 
be  taken  into  careful  account  if  the  true  charac- 
ter and  full  import  of  King  James's  Irish  ad- 
venture are  to  be  properly  appreciated.  King 
James  had  lost  the  crown  of  England  by  his  adoption  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  religion,  but  it  is  very  doubtful 
if  he  would  have  lost  it  even  temporarily  if  there  had  not 
been  an  ambitious  Protestant  Prince  ready  to  take  ad- 
vantage of  his  difficulties  for  the  attainment  of  his  own 
political  ends.  In  other  words,  high  policy  and  not  religion 
was  the  uppermost  thought  in  William's  mind,  and  it  was 
William's  disciplined  army  that  decided  the  fate  of  Eng- 

The  Prince  of  Orange  was  quite  convinced  that  to 
succeed  in  his  great  duel  with  his  old  enemy,  the  King 
of  France,  the  co-operation  of  England  was  indispensable. 
Without  her  money,  fleet  and  soldiers  the  League  of 
Augsburg  was  unequal  to  the  task  it  had  taken  in  hand, 
and  after  James's  accession  it  seemed  far  from  improbable 
that  the  leaguers  would  find  France  and  England  united 
against  them.  This  was  the  outlook  which  made  William 
throw  his  best  troops  across  the  North  Sea  into  England 
in  the  autumn  of  1688,  whilst  Louis,  ill-advised,  was 
plundering  the  Palatinate.  The  first  measure  was  a  well- 
timed  move  to  secure  a  great  political  result ;  the  other 
was  a  useless  military  promenade  only  calculated  to  make 
the  German  enemies  more  bitter. 



James,  dispossessed  of  his  throne,  flees  to  France,  and 
England,  without  a  national  army,  lies  at  the  mercy  of 
foreign  troops.  It  was  the  only  means  of  saving  the 
Protestant  succession,  but  it  was  a  humiliation  for  all 
Englishmen  of  patriotic  feeling.  James  had  still,  not- 
withstanding the  dislike  of  the  mass  of  the  nation  for  his 
religion,  a  strong  hold  on  the  sentiment  of  the  country 
as  its  lawful,  legitimate  King,  and  the  Jacobites  of  England 
were  probably  as  numerous  as  the  Williamites,  but  they 
had  no  organisation,  no  enthusiasm,  and  the  King  to 
whom  they  were  attached  quitted  the  country  and  left 
them  to  do  as  best  they  could  for  themselves.  It  was 
creditable  to  James's  humane  disposition  that  he  would 
not  sanction  what  he  called  "  useless  bloodshed,"  but  a 
king  who  will  not  allow  his  troops  to  fight  when  they  are 
willing  must  not  be  surprised  if  they  are  not  very  en- 
thusiastic afterwards  in  his  cause. 

King  James,  then,  was  turned  out  of  England  without 
striking  a  blow,  but  he  had  not  given  up  the  hope  of 
recovering  what  he  had  lost,  and  he  cherished  the  belief 
that  his  subjects  would  of  their  own  accord  return  to 
their  duty  and  invite  him  back  again.  But  this  expectation 
was  far  too  nebulous  to  suit  the  plans  of  French  statesmen. 
The  situation  in  their  opinion  was  full  of  peril  for  France, 
and  James's  pious  belief  in  the  spontaneous  return  of 
his  English  lieges  to  their  duty  at  some  future  date  af- 
forded them  no  ground  for  satisfaction.  They  also  noticed 
that  James  was  somewhat  inert  by  character,  and  that 
he  seemed  very  content  with  being  where  he  was.  Most 
of  his  time  was  given  up  to  the  practice  of  his  religion 
— a  devotion  which,  however  excellent  it  might  be,  would 
not  bring  back  to  him  his  crown.  It  was  noted  that  Queen 
Mary  was  more  ambitious,  and  that  she  would  be  glad 
to  return  again  to  preside  over  the  Court  of  Whitehall. 
She  was  ambitious  not  merely  for  her  husband's  sake,  but 
for  that  of  her  son.  In  her,  then,  the  French  Ministers, 
when  they  recommended  active  measures,  had  a  staunch  ally. 

KING   JAMES    GOES   TO    IRELAND         41 

The  King  had  lost  England,  but  he  had  not  lost  Ireland. 
His  change  of  religion  made  him  unpopular  in  the  former 
country,  but  it  ensured  him  the  support  of  the  inhabitants 
of  the  other.  Ireland  was  a  Catholic  country,  and  his 
measures  for  the  establishment  of  a  Catholic  Government 
proved  as  successful  in  Dublin  as  they  had  been  a  failure 
in  London.  It  was  perfectly  clear  to  Louvois  that  James's 
chance  lay  in  Ireland,  the  part  of  his  kingdom  which  re- 
mained absolutely  loyal,  and  it  seemed  also  clear  that  if 
King  James  were  at  the  head  of  an  army  in  Ireland,  the 
Prince  of  Orange  would  not  venture  to  take  any  of  his 
forces  out  of  England,  and  thus  France  would  have  one 
enemy  the  less  on  her  own  frontier.  Vauban  agreed  with 
Louvois.  He  said  of  James's  chances  :  "  Son  reste  est 
1'Irlande.  II  faut  qu'il  y  aille."  The  chivalrous  sympathy 
of  Louis  XIV  with  a  brother  king  in  trouble  was  edifying, 
but  the  great  French  Minister  wanted  some  return  for 
the  outlay,  and  he  felt  very  decidedly  that  the  Stuarts 
must  be  turned  to  some  useful  and  profitable  account. 
The  general  situation  was  far  too  serious  to  be  trifled 
with,  and  France,  with  practically  no  ally  but  the  Turk, 
could  not  throw  a  chance  away.  As  Madame  de  Sevigne 
wrote  :  "  We  are  now  threatened  with  enemies  on  all 
sides,  which  is  a  little  too  much.  We  must  hope  that 
a  war  in  Ireland  will  effect  a  powerful  diversion  and 
prevent  the  Prince  of  Orange  from  tormenting  us  by 
making  descents." 

But  the  thoughts  of  James  were  not  set  upon  being  an 
Irish  king.  Ireland  might  be  useful  to  him,  but  only 
as  a  sort  of  indirect  means  of  recovering  England.  All 
his  steps  after  reaching  St.  Germains  show  this.  On 
January  14  he  addressed  an  open  letter  to  the  Lords 
and  other  Members  of  the  Privy  Council  in  England, 
asking  them  "  to  concert  and  to  send  in  your  advice  as 
to  what  is  fit  to  be  done  by  Us  towards  our  re- 
turning." Almost  on  the  same  day  he  sent  Captain 
Michael  Roth,  of  whom  much  more  will  be  heard,  to 


Dublin  as  the  bearer  of  the  following  letter  to  Lord 
Tyrconnell  : — 

"  I  send  this  bearer,  Captain  Rooth,  to  you  to  give 
notice  of  my  being  here,  and  to  be  informed  how  things 
are  with  you  that  accordingly  I  may  take  my  measures ; 
hopping  you  will  be  able  to  defend  yourself  and  support 
my  interest  there  till  summer  at  least.  I  am  sure  you 
will  do  it  to  the  utmost  of  your  power,  and  I  hope  this 
King  here  will  so  press  the  Hollanders  that  the  Prince 
of  Orange  will  not  have  men  to  spare  to  attack  you ; 
in  the  mean  time  (till  I  hear  from  you  by  the  bearer) 
all  I  can  get  this  King  to  doe  is  to  send  7  or  8000  muskets, 
he  not  being  willing  to  venture  more  arms  or  any  men 
till  he  knows  the  condition  you  are  in,  so  that  it  will  be 
absolutely  necessary  that  you  send  back  this  bearer  as 
soon  as  may  be  with  one  or  two  persons  more  in  order 
thereunto.  Just  before  I  left  Rochester  I  had  a  letter 
from  you,  as  I  remember  it  was  on  the  I3th  of  December, 
which  told  me  all  was  quiet  with  you,  and  I  hope  it  is  so 
still,  and  that  the  Prince  of  Orange  has  sent  over  no  force 
to  invade  you  yet.  For  more  I  refer  you  to  this  bearer, 
who  can  give  you  an  account  how  we  all  got  away  and 
how  kindly  I  have  been  received  here." 

This  letter  shows  conclusively  that  at  the  moment  of 
writing  James  had  no  intention  of  going  himself  to  Ireland, 
and,  coupled  with  his  appeal  to  the  English  peers,  it  seems 
safe  to  conclude  that  his  hope  lay  in  his  coming  to  terms 
with  his  English  subjects  on  the  basis  of  his  return  to 
Whitehall  by  their  repentance  for  their  disloyalty,  and  by 
some  agreement  leaving  him  free  to  follow  his  own  religion 
while  they  received  his  further  assurances  that  he  would 
not  interfere  with  theirs. 

It  is  well  to  remember  what  was  in  James's  mind  when 
we  come  to  consider  his  conduct  in  Ireland.  Down  to  the 
Treaty  of  Ryswyck  James  never  wavered  in  his  belief 
that  the  English  people  would  recall  him,  and  in  January, 
1689,  he  was  absolutely  convinced  that  they  would  very 

KING   JAMES    GOES   TO    IRELAND         43 

soon  tire  of  the  presence  of  the  Prince  of  Orange  and  his 
foreign  army.  As  for  Ireland,  he  only  hoped  that  Tyr- 
connell  would  be  able  to  hold  it  against  invasion.  James 
himself  had  no  hope  of  recovering  England  by  means  of 
an  Irish  army.  He  repelled  the  suggestion  to  take  this 
step  when  first  proposed  in  1687-8,  and  he  knew  that  in 
1689  an  Irish  army  would  appear  in  the  eyes  of  English- 
men just  as  much  a  foreign  one  as  William's  army  of 
Dutchmen,  Danes,  Prussians  and  Huguenots,  who  at 
least  were  of  the  same  creed  and  observed  a  stricter  dis- 
cipline. James  was  by  no  means  the  fool  in  all  matters 
that  Louvois  took  him  for.  He  knew  that  to  bring  an 
unrestrained  pillaging  Irish  army  into  England  was  the 
sure  way  to  destroy  all  the  chances  which  the  Stuart 
cause  possessed.  Besides,  let  it  be  recorded  to  his  credit, 
he  loved  his  country  better  than  his  throne,  and  through- 
out the  whole  of  his  life  he  showed  that  by  his  country  he 
meant  England. 

These  views  were  quite  naturally  different  from  those 
held  by  French  Ministers ;  but  while  the  strategical  im- 
portance of  Ireland  as  a  base  against  England  was  sufficiently 
obvious,  they  had  no  information  as  to  the  state  of  things 
in  Ireland,  and  as  to  the  forces  at  the  disposal  of  its  Viceroy. 
They  accordingly  supplied  Captain  Roth  with  a  travelling 
companion  in  the  person  of  the  Marquis  de  Pointis,  a 
naval  artillery  officer,  who  was  to  prepare  a  report  on  the 

There  was  a  good  deal  of  correspondence  passing  at  this 
time  between  Ireland  and  France,  and  one  matter  of 
common  enquiry  was  as  to  the  treatment  Louis  extended 
to  James.  To  some  one  asking  this  question  an  English 
officer  in  the  entourage  of  the  King  of  England  at  St. 
Germains  replied  in  a  Latin  version  of  the  scriptural 
text : — 

"  Dixit  Dominus  domino  meo — 
Sede  a  dextris  meis  donee  ponam 
Inimicos  tuos  scabellum  pedum  tuorum." 


"  Sit  thou  on  my  right  hand  and  I  will  make  thy  enemies 
thy  footstool." 

The  two  emissaries  reached  Dublin  on  January  18 
at  a  critical  moment.  Although  five-sixths  of  Ireland 
was  Catholic  and  subject  to  Tyrconnell,  the  Protestants 
were  drawing  together  at  Enniskillen  and  Londonderry, 
and  many  of  the  Viceroy's  own  Council  belonged  to  the 
same  party.  Among  them  was  Lord  Mount  joy,  unques- 
tionably the  best  general  in  Ireland,  and  supported  by 
two  of  the  best  trained  and  best  armed  regiments  in  the 
country.  Tyrconnell  was  afraid  of  his  capacity  and  in- 
fluence, but  he  did  not  know  how  to  dispose  of  him. 

The  arrival  of  the  King's  letter  provided  him  with  an 
excuse.  He  proposed  to  Lord  Mount  joy  that  he  should 
go  to  St.  Germains,  and  explain  to  the  King  that  their 
position  was  such  that  they  had  no  alternative  to  making 
the  best  terms  they  could  with  the  Prince  of  Orange. 
This  view  entirely  accorded  with  Lord  Mount  joy's  own 
opinion,  and  in  order  that  the  clearest  light  may  be  shed 
on  this  burning  subject,  free  from  all  political  and  religious 
bias,  I  must  record  that  Lord  Mount  joy  held  this  opinion 
because  he  believed  that  it  was  the  only  way  to  protect 
the  Irish  Protestants  against  the  reprisals  of  the  Irish 
Catholics.  Lord  Mountjoy  fell  into  the  trap  and  agreed 
to  go.  With  him  went  as  joint  envoy  the  Lord  Chief 
Baron,  Sir  Stephen  Rice,  a  Catholic  in  Lord  TyrconnelPs 
confidence.  They  left  Dublin  on  January  20,  in  order 
to  return  by  the  vessel  which  had  brought  Roth  and  de 
Pointis.  They  reached  St.  Germains  early  in  February, 
and  Sir  Stephen  Rice  lost  no  time  in  discharging  his 
secret  instructions,  which  were  to  assure  King  James  that 
Ireland  was  loyal  to  his  person,  and  to  advise  him  to  pre- 
vent Mount  joy's  return  as  the  Protestant  leader  and  the 
most  formidable  enemy  of  his  cause. 

This  view  of  the  situation  suited  the  French  hopes  and 
plans,  but  it  was  necessary  to  await  the  return  of  the 
French  emissary  before  arriving  at  a  final  decision.  On 

KING   JAMES    GOES    TO    IRELAND         45 

February  21  M.  de  Pointis  returned  to  Paris  with  the 
news  that  Lord  Tyrconnell  was  supreme  in  Ireland  and 
that  he  had  an  army  of  80,000  men,  adding  that  all  that 
was  needed  to  ensure  a  great  triumph  was  King  James's 
presence  in  Dublin.  On  the  very  day  that  M.  de  Pointis 
came  back  Lord  Mountjoy  was  sent  to  the  Bastille,  where 
he  remained  for  three  years.  Thus  did  Louvois  carry  the 
day.  King  James  was  put  in  the  position  of  being  unable 
to  refuse  to  go  to  Ireland  without  incurring  the  charge  of 
cowardice  and  of  seeming  to  abuse  the  hospitality  which 
had  been  so  cordially  bestowed  on  him  and  his  by  the 
French  Court.  But  he  consented  to  go  with  mixed  feelings. 
He  was  being  forced  to  a  land  he  knew  not,  to  strange 
surroundings,  and  called  upon  to  deal  with  a  complicated 
situation  outside  all  his  experiences.  England  he  knew, 
France,  the  home  of  his  childhood,  he  knew,  but  Ireland 
was  beyond  his  ken.  Madame  de  Sevigne  read  his  mind 
when  she  wrote  :  "  He  seems  to  prefer  to  remain  where 
he  is." 

But  although  Louvois  was  set  upon  King  James's  going 
to  Ireland,  he  was  not  disposed  to  be  very  lavish  in  rendering 
him  any  tangible  assistance,  and  on  one  point  he  was  quite 
resolved.  Not  a  French  regiment  should  leave  the  country. 
France  wanted  all  her  troops  for  her  own  home  needs. 
By  this  time  Louvois  had  partially  awoke  to  the  stupendous 
blunder  he  had  committed  by  the  revocation  of  the  Edict 
of  Nantes,  which  dealt  the  power  of  Louis  XIV  a  blow 
somewhat  similar  to  that  experienced  by  the  Great  Napo- 
leon through  the  imprudent  Russian  campaign.  His 
friend  Vauban,  at  this  very  juncture,  in  also  opposing  the 
despatch  of  French  troops  to  Ireland,  supplied  him  with  a 
memorandum  estimating  the  direct  loss  that  the  Revocation 
had  inflicted  on  the  country.  From  this  document  the 
following  passage  may  be  taken  : — 

"  The  Revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes  has  cost  France 
the  loss  of  between  80,000  and  100,000  persons,  and  those 
among  the  most  intelligent  and  instructed  classes  of  the 


nation.  She  has  lost  at  least  30  million  livres  of  revenue. 
Many  of  her  special  arts  and  industries,  much  of  her  trade, 
have  been  ruined.  The  fleets  of  her  enemies  have  been 
reinforced  by  8000  good  sailors.  Their  armies  have  been 
increased  by  five  or  six  hundred  of  our  best  officers  and 
10,000  excellent  troops." 

Vauban  did  not  exaggerate.  The  France  of  1689  was  a 
considerably  poorer  country  than  she  had  been  only  four 
years  before.  With  enemies  on  all  sides  of  her  it  would 
have  been  folly  to  send  troops  to  Ireland.  King  James 
was  to  go  to  Ireland,  but  all  the  aid  that  France  could  give 
him  was  some  arms,  some  money,  and  a  few  officers. 
Even  under  these  heads  the  aid  could  not  be  very  great. 
The  French  arsenals  were  somewhat  bare,  the  revenue  had 
fallen,  and  there  were  not  more  than  enough  officers  to 
supply  the  armies  then  in  the  field  in  Flanders,  Alsace, 
Savoy,  and  Catalonia.  Besides,  had  not  Pointis  reported 
that  there  were  80,000  men  in  Ireland  with  the  colours, 
and  were  there  not  several  hundred  English,  Scottish,  and 
Irish  officers  at  St.  Germains,  with  whom  we  shall  make 
closer  acquaintance  as  this  narrative  proceeds  ?  Clearly 
there  was  no  need  for  French  soldiers,  but  even  if  there 
had  been  they  would  not  have  been  sent.  So  James  for 
very  shame's  sake  was  committed  to  the  Irish  expedition. 
It  was  one  of  those  situations  created  for  a  man  in  difficulties 
to  which  he  had  been  no  willing  party,  but  which  could 
not  be  evaded.  The  whispering  at  Versailles  and  St. 
Germains  that  something  was  on  the  tapis  for  the  exiled 
King  grew  into  the  open  report — "  King  James  is  going 
to  Ireland." 

The  report  was  first  spread  as  the  outcome  of  a  striking 
incident  at  Versailles.  King  Louis  was  holding  his  Court 
late  in  the  evening  of  one  of  those  critical  days  of  February, 
when  a  messenger  arrived  with  a  private  letter  from 
King  James  for  King  Louis.  King  Louis  glanced  through 
it,  and  then,  wishing  to  give  those  present  the  latest  news, 
handed  it  to  the  Archbishop  of  Rheims  to  read  to  the 

KING  JAMES   GOES  TO   IRELAND         47 

company.  The  Archbishop  began  to  read  the  note  aloud, 
but  suddenly  stopped  short.  He  had  come  to  a  secret 
passage,  and  being  a  man  of  tact  was  trying  to  skip  it. 
The  King,  realising  his  dilemma,  snatched  the  paper  from 
his  hand,  and  those  present  were  very  anxious,  as  Dangeau 
remarked,  to  learn  the  secret.  They  were  not  enlightened 
at  the  time,  but  we  need  not  be  reticent.  King  James 
had  expressed  his  willingness  to  start  for  Ireland. 

While  these  important  events  were  in  progress,  King 
James  was  making  the  best  of  his  troubles,  taking  part  in 
stag  and  wolf  hunts  in  the  forest  of  Marly,  and  it  was 
noted  that  he  was  always  in  front  with  the  dogs.  He  also 
supped  several  times  with  Louis  at  Marly,  and  these 
entertainments  were  always  turned  to  account  for  the 
discussion  of  serious  business.  During  this  period  the 
Duke  of  Berwick  was  coming  more  to  the  front,  and 
acquired  considerable  influence  in  his  father's  councils. 
He  had  been  made  a  Knight  of  the  Garter  before  James 
left  London,  but  no  opportunity  had  offered  to  place  his 
arms  and  banner  in  St.  George's  Chapel.  Notwithstanding 
this  defect,  James  gave  him  permission  to  wear  the  Star  of 
the  Order.  About  the  same  time  Louis  invested  him  with 
authority  to  raise  a  regiment  to  be  called  by  his  own  name, 
and  to  be  composed  exclusively  of  Irish,  English,  and  Scot- 
tish Catholics.  It  was  to  be  of  exceptional  strength,  in  forty 
companies  of  100  men  each,  and  a  rallying-place  was  fixed 
for  it  upon  the  Somme.  So  far  as  strength  went  the 
regiment  never  existed  save  on  paper.  There  is  a  reference 
to  the  assembly  of  this  corps  at  Rhue,  near  Abbeville,  and 
to  the  regiment  numbering  400  men  besides  150  officers, 
all  fugitives  from  England.  There  were  also  300  cavalrymen 
or  dragoons  at  the  same  place,  but  nothing  had  been 
decided  as  to  their  grouping. 

Early  in  February  the  troops  belonging  to  King  James 
began  to  be  moved  from  Paris  and  St.  Germains  towards 
the  sea-coast.  On  February  5  young  John  Hamilton 
(the  cadet  Hamilton)  arrived  from  Ireland,  and  on  the  ijih 


he  left  "  with  all  the  English  and  Scottish  officers  and 
soldiers "  (Irish  not  mentioned  by  Dangeau)  to  join 
Berwick  for  Ireland.  Berwick  himself  had  left  two  days 
earlier  for  Orleans  with  marching  orders  for  Brest,  which 
had  been  fixed  on  for  the  place  of  rendezvous.  Finally, 
Dangeau  makes  the  first  reference  to  an  incident,  to  which 
fuller  reference  will  have  to  be  made  later  on,  in  the 
following  passage  :  "  The  elder  Hamilton  (Richard)  goes 
to  Scotland  to  see  Tyrconnell  on  safe  conduct  from  Prince 
of  Orange,  and  his  promise  not  to  join  the  troops."  It  need 
only  be  noted  that  to  accord  with  the  facts,  Dangeau's 
entry  in  February  must  be  ante-dated  by  nearly  two 

While  these  movements  were  in  progress  Louis  was 
selecting  the  French  officers  who  were  to  go  to  Ireland. 
The  first  officer  chosen  was  the  Marechal  de  Camp  Mau- 
mont  de  Fontange  (wrongly  spelt  as  Monmont),  a  soldier 
of  merit.  To  him  were  joined  Pusignan  and  Lery  (Marquis 
de  Girardin)  as  Brigadiers  of  infantry  and  cavalry  respec- 
tively. Pointis,  having  been  to  Ireland,  was  sent  back  in 
charge  of  the  cannon  and  munitions  of  war.  He  had  under 
him  twenty  gunners,  four  carpenters,  and  two  smiths. 
Another  French  officer  who  played  a  great  part  in  the 
expedition  was  Boisseleau. 

Finally,  a  French  Lieutenant-General  named  Roze  (not 
Rosen)  was  given  the  command-in-chief,  and  to  denote 
his  superior  rank  James  shortly  after  his  arrival  in  Ireland 
made  him  a  Marshal.  Roze  was  not  French,  but  a  Russian. 
His  contemporaries  considered  him  a  good  cavalry  leader, 
but  no  general.  Louis  could  not  have  made  a  worse  choice, 
for  to  a  want  of  true  military  capacity  Roze  added  a  savage 
nature  and  an  inclination  towards  ruthless  war.  The 
Duke  of  Berwick  said  of  him  that  "  he  was  subject  to 
passion  even  to  a  degree  of  madness." 

Lauzun  was  to  have  had  the  command  because  it  was 
thought  that  he  would  be  the  most  agreeable  person  to 
King  James,  but  his  head  had  been  turned  by  his  getting 

KING   JAMES    GOES   TO   IRELAND         49 

back  to  Court,  and  he  declined  to  go  unless  the  very 
rarely  conceded  style  of  Captain-General  were  bestowed 
upon  him.  Louis  declined,  and  Roze  got  the  post.  As 
some  compensation  for  the  disappointment  James  made 
Lauzun  a  Knight  of  the  Garter.  Louis  also  promised 
James  the  services  of  twenty  captains,  twenty  lieutenants, 
and  twenty  cadets,  but  as  they  did  not  sail  in  the  first 
flotilla  reference  will  be  made  to  them  later  on. 

These  arrangements  were  pushed  on  with  the  idea  that 
James's  departure  should  be  as  speedy  as  possible.  A 
squadron  of  thirteen  men-of-war,  six  frigates,  and  three  fire- 
ships,  under  the  command  of  Admiral  Gabaret,  was 
waiting  in  readiness  at  Brest.  On  February  25  James 
drove  into  Paris  to  offer  up  his  prayers  for  success  at 
Notre  Dame.  He  then  dined  with  Lauzun  at  his  hotel  in 
company  with  the  Archbishop  of  Paris  and  M.  Jeannin, 
and  after  dinner  he  visited  the  Convent  of  the  English 
Sisters,  called  on  the  Grande  Mademoiselle  and  the  other 
members  of  the  Royal  Family  who  happened  to  be  in  Paris, 
and  then  drove  to  Versailles,  which  he  reached  at  seven  in 
the  evening.  Louis  was  waiting  to  receive  him  for  what 
was  intended  and  hoped  to  be  their  last  interview,  and  for 
the  occasion  the  Court  had  assembled  in  great  numbers. 
Both  Kings  wore  violet  in  mourning  for  the  Queen  of 
Spain,  who  had  just  died.  When  the  hour  for  James's 
departure  for  St.  Germains  arrived,  Louis  made  him  a 
little  farewell  speech  concluding  with  the  words  :  "  I 
hope,  sir,  never  to  see  you  again.  Nevertheless,  if  Fortune 
decrees  that  we  are  to  meet,  you  will  find  me  always  the 
same  as  you  have  found  me."  ("  Je  souhaite,  Monsieur,  ne 
vous  revoir  jamais.  Cependant  si  la  fortune  veut  que  nous 
nous  revoyions  vous  me  trouverez  toujours  tel  que  vous 
m'avez  trouve.") 

On  the  following  day  James  received  visits  from  Monsieur 

and  Madame,  and  most  of  the  princes  of  the  blood  at  St. 

Germains.    Queen  Mary,  who  was  believed  to  be  enceinte, 

fainted,  and  James  kissed  all  the  princes  of  the  blood. 



On  the  same  day  James  refused  permission  to  the  young 
Duke  of  Richmond  to  accompany  the  expedition  "  because 
he  was  too  young  and  too  little."  There  may  have  been 
another  reason  for  this  decision,  as  he  and  his  mother, 
Louise  de  Querouaille,  Duchess  of  Portsmouth,  had  been 
accused  of  whispering  against  the  legality  of  the  birth  of 
the  Prince  of  Wales.  The  young  Duke  had  had  a  special 
audience  with  Louis  on  the  subject,  and  received  the  as- 
surance that  the  King  had  never  credited  the  report  that  he 
could  have  said  anything  so  baseless.  Events  will  show 
that  there  was  not  much  love  lost  between  James  and  his 
brother's  son.  Indeed,  the  complications  already  existing 
in  the  French  Court  by  the  recognition  of  so  many  of 
Louis's  own  bastards  did  not  need  any  addition  through 
the  presence  of  the  illegitimate  offspring  of  foreign 

On  February  27  Louis  drove  over  to  St.  Germains  to 
take  farewell  of  his  guest,  whose  departure  was  fixed  for 
the  next  morning.  James  had  asked  permission  for  Saint 
Vians  to  accompany  him  as  commander  of  his  body-guard, 
but  Louis  refused  because  he  thought  that  Saint  Vians 
(apparently  the  Marquis  de  Saint  Viance)  had  been 
wounded  too  often.  He  nominated  in  his  place  d'Estrades, 
another  officer  of  the  Maison  du  Roi,  and  it  is  curious  to  note 
that  the  English  papers,  in  describing  the  departure  of 
James,  stated  that  he  was  accompanied  by  Marshal 
d'Estrades,  whom  the  French  King  had  lent  him  to 
command  his  army.  The  army  rank  of  d'Estrades  was 
Marechal  de  Camp,  which  was  two  grades  below  that  of 
Marshal  of  France,  and  may  be  considered  as  the  equivalent 
of  Major-General.  The  Marshal  d'Estrees,  Governor  of 
Brittany,  was  in  supreme  charge  of  the  arrangements  for 
the  despatch  of  the  expedition  from  Brest.  The  similarity 
of  names  may  have  led  to  some  confusion  ;  but  d'Estrees' 
part  in  the  Irish  expedition  began  and  ended  at  Brest. 

The  parting  of  the  two  kings  was  naturally  of  the  most 
cordial  character,  and  while  the  formalities  of  ceremony 

KING   JAMES    GOES    TO    IRELAND          51 

had  to  be  observed  there  was  evidence  of  deeper  feelings 
being  aroused.  James  addressing  Louis,  who  had  just 
referred  to  his  having  placed  500,000  ecus  (an  error  of  the 
chroniclers)  and  1 0,000  muskets  at  his  disposal,  received 
the  reply  :  "  Sir,  you  have  forgotten  only  one  thing,  and 
that  is  to  arm  me,"  whereupon  Louis  unbuckles  his  own 
sword  and  fastens  it  to  James's  side.  Queen  Mary  over- 
flows with  tears,  and  another  woman  present,  Madame  de 
Sevigne,  records  the  impression  of  the  hour  for  all  time  : 
"  Magnanimity  could  not  go  further,  the  King  (Louis)  has 
surpassed  all  the  heroes  of  romance." 

In  the  early  morning  of  February  28,  1689,  James  left 
St.  Germains  in  his  state-coach  drawn  by  six  horses,  with 
Lauzun  in  the  carnage.  He  drove  across  Paris  to  reach  the 
high-road  for  Orleans,  and  at  Bourg  la  Reine,  five  miles 
south  of  Paris,  he  found  his  travelling  carriage  waiting  for 
him.  Here  Lauzun  and  the  state-coach  are  left  behind 
while  James  goes  on  accompanied  by  Powis,  Melfort,  and 
others,  with  halting-places  fixed  at  Orleans,  Tours,  and 
Angers.  This  programme  has  to  be  departed  from,  for 
James's  carriage  breaks  down,  and  he  has  in  consequence 
to  accept  the  hospitality  of  the  Due  de  Chaulnes  at  Roche 

Twenty-four  hours  after  the  King  left  St.  Germains, 
Lady  Melfort,  refusing  to  be  left  behind,  followed  her 
husband  with  servants  in  four  travelling  carriages,  and  as 
she  was  the  only  lady  in  the  expedition  the  fact  deserves 
special  notice.  Lady  Melfort  was  Euphemia  Wallace, 
daughter  of  Sir  Thomas  Wallace,  Lord  Justice  of  Scotland, 
and  she  gave  her  husband  nine  children,  her  eldest  son 
(the  second  Duke)  marrying  eventually  the  widow  of 
James's  natural  son,  the  Duke  of  Albemarle.  D'Avaux, 
the  French  ambassador,  of  whom  we  are  now  about  to 
speak,  describes  Melfort  as  in  a  state  of  constant  jealousy 
about  his  wife,  and  the  anxiety  to  accompany  her  husband 
in  1689  has  just  been  mentioned.  Even  the  Duchess  of 
Powis,  who  was  certainly  deeply  attached  to  her  husband, 


remained  at  St.  Germains,  but  Lady  Melfort  would  not  be 
consoled  or  left  behind. 

Many  men  of  all  our  races  and  religions  followed  James 
to  Brest.  The  Duke  of  Northumberland,  one  of  the  sons 
of  Charles  II,  scarcely  landed  at  Calais,  hastened  there  to 
join  him,  and  arrived  in  time.  Lord  Dover  also  posted 
there,  arriving  too  late  and  having  to  follow  by  a  later 
relay.  But  the  only  woman  to  sail  from  Brest  was  Eu- 
phemia,  Countess  of  Melfort,  while  Queen  Mary  d'Este, 
who  would  have  liked  to  go,  retired  for  a  time  to  Poissy 
with  her  infant  son.  "  She  is  always  crying  and  in  such  a 
nephritic  state,"  declares  Madame  de  Sevigne,  "  that 
stone  is  apprehended."  When  she  returned  to  St.  Ger- 
mains it  was  to  live  in  close  retirement,  and  the  world  was 
officially  informed  that  during  her  husband's  absence  the 
Queen  of  England  would  receive  only  one  day  in  the  week. 

While  the  parade  of  the  affair  was  being  carried  along 
by  the  kings  and  the  courtiers,  Louis's  Ministers  were 
attending  to  the  real  business,  so  that  the  expedition  to 
Ireland  should  promote  the  interest  of  France.  The 
soldiers  had  been  named.  It  was  necessary  to  send  with 
James  a  sound  adviser  who,  while  guiding  his  policy  for 
practical  ends,  would  make  those  ends  serve  French  policy. 
Louvois  chose  the  ablest  diplomatist  in  his  service,  Jean 
Antoine  de  Mesmes,  Count  d'Avaux.  Diplomacy  was  the 
birthright  of  his  family.  His  immediate  forbears  had 
signed  in  the  name  of  France  treaties  ranging  from  that  of 
St.  Germains  in  1570  to  that  of  Munster  in  1648.  He 
himself  had  been  plenipotentiary  at  Nimeguen,  and  during 
ten  years  he  was  ambassador  at  the  Hague.  He  therefore 
knew  the  Prince  of  Orange,  his  ambitious  views  and  his 
ways  of  doing  business,  and  as  he  was  going  to  be  pitted 
against  that  Prince,  no  more  qualified  person  could  have 
been  found.  Besides,  the  Count  d'Avaux  was  a  man  of 
great  method  and  common  sense.  His  axiom  was  to  do  the 
work  that  lay  ready  to  hand  and  not  to  take  up  idle  schemes 
outside  it.  A  better  selection  could  not  have  been  made. 


Whoever  was  responsible  for  the  Irish  failure,  it  was 
certainly  not  the  Count  d'Avaux. 

The  Count  d'Avaux  received  his  instructions  in  a 
document  signed  at  Marly,  on  February  n,  1689,  by  Louis 
and  countersigned  by  Louvois.  After  mentioning  that  the 
aid  rendered  to  the  King  of  Great  Britain  in  arms,  muni- 
tions of  war,  officers,  and  money  was  as  great  as  Louis's 
own  excessive  requirements  against  a  great  number  of 
enemies  allowed,  the  representative  of  France  was  warned 
to  remember  the  interests  of  his  own  Government,  as  well 
as  to  see  that  King  James  was  acting  prudently  for  the 
promotion  of  his  own.  While  these  were  general  instruc- 
tions, the  specific  point  of  doing  all  in  his  power  in  recon- 
ciling Protestants  and  Catholics,  and  especially  in  assuring 
the  former  that  they  would  be  safe  from  molestation  and 
injury,  was  not  to  be  forgotten.  He  was  also  instructed  to 
send  information  as  to  the  state  of  things  in  Ireland  as 
frequently  as  possible,  and  to  forward  several  copies  of  the 
same  letter  by  different  routes  so  as  to  ensure  one  at  least 
of  them  reaching  Paris.  Finally,  he  was  entrusted  with  the 
sum  of  500,000  livres,  of  which  300,000  were  to  be  paid  to 
the  order  of  James  as  he  required,  while  the  remaining 
200,000  were  to  form  a  secret  reserve,  which  the  Count 
was  only  to  disclose  when  he  thought  a  real  need  for  it 

The  instructions  to  the  diplomatist  were  supplemented 
by  those  to  the  general.  General  Maumont  was  their 
recipient,  for  at  the  time  of  their  being  drafted  no  officer 
of  higher  rank  had  been  named,  and  after  General  Roze's 
appointment  this  part  of  the  arrangement  remained 
undisturbed.  The  division  of  responsibility  between 
D'Avaux,  Maumont,  and  de  Pointis  was  to  lead  to  some 
confusion  and  bickering  among  the  French  representatives 
in  Ireland,  but  we  shall  come  to  that  later  on. 

Maumont  was  to  take  with  him  10,000  muskets,  100,000 
charges  of  powder,  the  same  allowance  of  tinder  and  lead. 
Whether  it  was  impossible  to  provide  the  arms,  or  that 


the  French  intendants  held  them  back  for  reasons  of  their 
own,  it  is  certain  that  Maumont  did  not  take  this  quantity 
with  him.  The  totals  given  in  the  French  War  Office  list 
are  3000  swords,  16,000  sabres,  19,000  belts,  600  pairs  of 
pistols,  500  single  pistols,  500  muskets,  and  500  guns.  It  is 
very  dubious  if  even  this  mixed  assortment  of  weapons  was 
ever  sent  in  its  entirety.  De  Pointis  was  appointed  to  the 
charge  of  the  material,  and  he  was  to  select  twenty  naval 
gunners,  four  carpenters,  and  two  smiths  as  the  nucleus  of 
an  artillery  corps.  Maumont  was  also  supplied  with  funds. 
He  was  to  take  with  him  300,000  livres  in  gold,  but  he  was 
to  keep  the  matter  secret,  and  even  if  the  Duke  of  Ber- 
wick were  to  ask  him  what  the  sum  was  he  was  to  reply  in 
general  terms,  "  between  50  and  60,000  ecus."  A  further 
instalment  of  200,000  livres,  bringing  the  total  up  to 
500,000  (making  altogether  a  million  livres  advanced  by 
Louis  through  D'Avaux  and  Maumont),  was  to  follow 
by  the  second  relay,  which  was  to  consist  of  the  Berwick 
regiment,  etc. 

Maumont  had  other  instructions.  He  was  not  to  land 
until  he  had  ascertained  that  Ireland  still  held  out  for 
King  James,  and  also  that  Lord  Tyrconnell  was  loyal,  for  it 
was  not  known  in  France  whether  the  reports  of  his  over- 
tures to  William  of  Orange  were  genuine  or  not.  If  he  was 
not  satisfied  on  both  these  points,  he  was  to  return  at  once 
to  Brest  without  landing  arms  or  money.  On  the  other 
hand,  Maumont  might  promise  in  Louis's  name  that  if 
Ireland  held  out  till  the  winter  he  would  send  over 
French  troops.  Louis  also  hoped  to  be  able  to  send  another 
half-million  livres  during  the  summer,  as  he  understood 
"  money  was  very  scarce  in  Ireland."  With  the  view  of 
promoting  trade  also,  he  removed  all  customs  dues  from 
Irish  goods  excepting  wrool ;  but  wool  was  precisely  the 
Irish  produce  for  which  free  entry  was  most  desired. 
These  instructions  show  that  Louis's  personal  chivalry 
towards  James  was  not  displayed  at  the  cost  of  prudence  in 
the  regulation  of  the  details  of  the  enterprise. 

KING   JAMES    GOES   TO    IRELAND          55 

Before  he  left  Paris  King  James  requested  that  the  sum 
of  20,000  livres  out  of  the  sum  placed  in  D'Avaux's  charge 
should  be  sent  to  London  for  the  use  of  Lord  Preston  ;  and 
Lord  Waldegrave,  James's  ambassador  in  Paris,  who  had 
married  his  daughter  Henrietta  Fitzjames,  undertook  to  see 
that  it  was  safely  remitted.  Before  his  departure  from 
Paris  King  James  had  sent  Sir  George  Porter  on  a  mission 
to  Rome  to  interest  the  Pope  in  his  cause,  and  he  also 
arranged  for  Mr.  George  Skelton  to  proceed  to  Vienna  on 
a  similar  errand  to  the  Emperor.  Louis  provided  the 
expenses  at  an  agreed  sum,  but  when  James  had  started  for 
Brest  Skelton  represented  that  the  sum  was  inadequate 
and  that  he  ought  to  be  allowed  more.  Louis  refused  the 
request,  and  when  the  matter  was  reported  to  James  at 
Brest  he  was  very  annoyed  and  angry,  declaring  that  the 
allowance  was  quite  sufficient  if  Skelton  went  alone.  It 
seemed  clear  to  the  King  that  Skelton  had  raised  his  terms 
because  he  wished  to  take  his  wife.  In  the  end  Skelton  went 

Neither  of  these  envoys  did  any  good.  Sir  George  Porter 
remained  at  Rome  three  months,  but  eventually  he  came 
away  quite  disconsolate  because  the  Pope  was  thoroughly  in 
sympathy  with  the  enemies  of  France.  Skelton  brought 
back  a  letter  from  the  Emperor  Leopold,  to  whom  James 
had  appealed  not  merely  in  the  name  of  religion,  but  for  the 
sacred  cause  of  Kings,  that  gave  him  but  little  comfort. 
Leopold,  after  employing  the  commonplaces  of  civility  in 
reference  to  James's  deplorable  experience  of  the  instability 
of  human  affairs,  went  on  to  declare  that  it  was  due  to  his 
"  listening  to  the  fraudulent  suggestions  of  France,"  and 
made  a  special  grievance  not  merely  of  the  French  plunder- 
ing of  the  Palatinate,  but  also  of  their  concluding  an 
alliance  with  the  Turks.  The  Emperor  professed  sorrow 
at  his  brother's  troubles,  but  would  render  no  assistance 
in  overcoming  them.  Skelton  does  not  appear  to  have  been 
received  by  the  Emperor,who  only  recognised  the  Earl  of  Car- 
lingford,  duly  accredited  as  James's  ambassador,  at  his  Court. 


These  replies  could  not  have  left  any  doubt  in  James's 
mind  that  his  sole  support  must  come  from  the  side  of 
France.  The  leaguers  of  Augsburg  were  not  to  be  detached 
from  one  another  by  the  difference  of  religion  between 
some  of  their  members. 

As  soon  as  it  was  definitely  known  at  Brest  that  King 
James  had  quitted  Paris,  the  frigate  "  Soleil  d'Afrique  " 
was  sent,  with  Lord  Dungan  on  board,  to  Ireland  to  an- 
nounce the  coming  of  the  King.  It  was  assumed  that  he 
would  follow  close  on  its  heels,  but  the  frigate  returned 
to  Brest  before  the  fleet  had  departed.  Contrary  winds 
entailed  ten  or  twelve  days'  further  delay,  but  on  March  15 
all  seemed  well  and  anchors  were  raised.  King  James's 
last  request  before  communication  with  the  land  was 
severed  was  that  the  French  should  send  him  some  bakers 
and  a  man  who  could  make  powder.  The  departure  was 
further  delayed  by  a  sharp  gale,  and  the  King's  ship  came 
into  collision  with  that  commanded  by  M.  de  Rosmadek. 
The  consequences  would  have  been  serious  but  for  the 
skill  displayed  by  that  officer.  The  damage  having  been 
repaired  and  the  gale  abating,  sail  was  set  at  five  in  the 
evening  of  March  17,  and  within  a  couple  of  hours  the 
flotilla  had  passed  out  of  sight.  The  voyage  was  rapid  and 
quite  uneventful,  and  in  the  morning  of  March  22  the 
fleet  anchored  off  Kingsale. 

Although  the  bulk  of  the  officers  and  men  of  King  James's 
army,  who  had  followed  him  to  France,  did  not  leave 
Brest  until  the  second  flotilla  sailed  under  Chateau  Renaud 
at  the  end  of  April,  Admiral  Cabaret's  squadron  conveyed 
altogether  eighty-three  Jacobite  and  French  officers  in 
addition  to  the  King,  Lady  Melfort,  and  their  servants. 
The  following  is  a  fairly  complete  and  accurate  list  of  the 
passengers,  with  many  of  whom  we  shall  make  closer 
acquaintance.  Many  of  the  Irish  officers  had  served  with 
Dumbarton's  force  in  England,  others  had  belonged  to  the 
French  army,  chiefly  in  the  "  gensdarmes."  Others 
again,  like  Taaffe  and  de  Lacy,  had  come  from  Lorraine 

KING   JAMES   GOES   TO   IRELAND         57 

and  Austria  to  take  the  hazard  of  recovering  the  estates  lost 
by  their  families  in  1649-51.  A  large  proportion  of  the 
officers  ended  their  career  on  the  field  of  honour  during  the 
twenty-five  years  covered  by  this  narrative.  In  the  list 
occurs  the  name  of  at  least  one  traitor,  the  Chevalier  de 

List  of  persons  who  sailed  with  King  James  from  Brest  in 
March,  1689  (according  to  list  of  Marshal  d'Estrees). 
The  names  are  given  correctly  where  identified  ;  otherwise 
the  French  spelling  is  followed : — 

Ship  Passengers 

The  "  Saint  Michel."  H.M.  King  James  II,  the  Duke  of  Berwick 

and  his  brother,  Count  d'Avaux,  Lord 
Melfort,  Lord  Thomas  Howard,  and 
the  servants  required  for  their  service. 

„  "  Courageux."  Sir  Stephen  Rice,  Chief  Baron,  Mr.  Trinder, 
Mr.  Collins,  Lord  Brittas,  Capt.  Edmund 
Burke  (?  de  Burgh),  Mr.  Lane,  Mr.  Sars- 
field,  Mr.  Archdeacon,  Mr.  Ravne,  Mr. 

„  "  Furieux."  Lady  Melfort,  her  servants  and  suite,  Mr. 

Drummond,  son  of  the  Scottish  Chan- 
cellor (Perth),  and  Colonel  Wauchope. 

„  "  Francis."  Captain  Talbot,  Lieutenant  Boulger,  Lieu- 

tenant Bourke  (?  de  Burgh),  Lieutenant 
Baker,  Lieutenant  Kelly  and  Mr.Plunkett. 

„  "  Apollon."  Duke  of  Powis  and  his  suite,  Captains 

McCarthy,  Corbet,  Dicconson,  Lieu- 
tenants Tobin  and  McCarthy,  Messrs. 
Nagle,  O'Neill,  Butler,  Hussey,  and 

„  "  Fort."  MM.  de  Lery,  de  Pusignan,  and  de  Pointis, 

Captain  Nangle,  Messrs.  Rivedan,  King, 
Roche,  and  Burke. 

„  "  Entreprenant."  MM.  de  Roze,  de  Maumont,  Boisseleau, 
Colonel  Hamilton  (John),  M.  de  St. 
Didier,  Chevalier  Vadre  (Vaudrey  ?). 

„  "  Sage."  Colonel  Sutherland,  Colonel  Dorington, 

Captain  Luttrell,  Captain  O'Gara,  Cap- 
tain Fitzpatrick,  Lieutenants  Binguen, 
Bourke,  and  Power,  and  Messrs.  Nugent, 
Bourke,  Lucas,  and  Corvido. 


Ship  Passengers 

The  "  Due."  Colonel  Sarsfield  (Patrick),  Col.  McEllicott, 

Sir    Neil    O'Neil,  Chevalier  Baud,  Cap- 
tain   Ulick    Burke,    Lieutenants    Burne, 
Callaghan,  Rayne,  Murphy,  Bourk,  and 
Captain  MacDonald. 
„     "  Faucon."  Sir  —  Murray,  Capt.  Arundel,  Lieutenant 

Plowden,  Lieutenant  Baptiste. 

„     "  Neptune."  Major  de   Lacy,  Mr.  Taaffe,  Messrs.  Sars- 

field, Nugent,  Acton,  Carroll,  Nagle,  and 

83    names,    excluding    the    King    and 
Lady  Melfort. 

Brief  reference  must  be  made  to  Scotland,  the  native 
kingdom  of  the  House  of  Stuart.  The  Jacobite  party 
was  supreme  in  the  Highlands,  and  possessed  a  military 
leader  of  remarkable  capacity  in  the  Viscount  Dundee. 
But  the  Lowlands  were  Presbyterian  to  a  man  and  regarded 
a  Catholic  as  outside  the  law.  The  Duke  of  Hamilton 
was  prominent  among  those  who  had  invited  the  Prince  of 
Orange  over,  and  at  his  instigation  the  Presbyterian  Lords 
seized  the  Government  at  Edinburgh.  The  Earl  of  Perth, 
the  Chancellor,  was  captured  as  he  was  escaping  in  a 
fishing-boat  and  sent  to  Stirling  Castle.  Lord  Dundee 
withdrew  to  the  Highlands.  The  Duke  of  Gordon  held 
Edinburgh  Castle  for  the  King,  and  a  smaller  garrison 
occupied  the  Bass  Rock.  While  the  Irish  Jacobites  were 
animated  principally  by  love  of  Ireland  and  the  desire  to 
make  her  independent,  the  Scottish  Jacobites  were  impelled 
by  personal  loyalty  to  the  Stuarts. 

James  had  a  warm  feeling  for  Scotland,  almost  as  great  as 
he  had  for  England,  and  when  he  heard  that  a  Scots  Parlia- 
ment had  been  summoned  by  the  usurped  authority  of  the 
Prince  of  Orange  he  sent  a  letter  signed  by  Melfort  to  warn 
those  who  rebelled  against  his  authority  of  the  consequences 
of  their  action,  and  promising  those  who  returned  to  their 
loyalty  his  full  pardon  and  forgiveness.  This  letter, 
written  on  the  "  St.  Michel "  immediately  before  the  fleet 
sailed  from  Brest,  was  entrusted  to  Mr.  Crane,  but  before 

KING   JAMES   GOES   TO   IRELAND         59 

it  reached  its  destination  King  James's  followers  had 
retired  behind  the  Grampians.  The  embassies  to  Rome 
and  Vienna,  the  appeal  to  the  subjects  of  "  our  antient 
native  kingdom  of  Scotland,"  were  minor  incidents  in  the 
main  enterprise  which,  thanks  to  French  insistence,  was 
now  to  be  concentrated  on  the  complete  establishment  of 
James's  authority  in  Ireland,  with  the  view  of  making  it  a 
thorn  in  the  side  of  the  Prince  of  Orange.  James  himself 
was  not  enthusiastic  about  the  enterprise,  and  went  into  it 
half-heartedly,  and  only  because  he  could  not  refuse  to  go 
without  offending  the  French.  He  would  have  gone  to 
Scotland  quite  willingly.  With  regard  to  England  he  was 
fully  persuaded  that  he  had  only  to  wait  with  a  little 
patience  to  be  recalled  by  his  repentant  subjects.  But 
towards  Ireland  he  had  no  inclination,  and  when  he  got 
there  he  could  only  think  of  how  he  might  get  away  from 
it  into  Scotland  or  England.  But  this  is  anticipating. 

Chapter  III 


WITHOUT  wandering  too  far  into  other  fields 
of  history,  it  may  be  said  here  for  the  sake  of 
clearness  in  the  narrative  that  the  Jacobite 
movement  in  Ireland,  which  began  with 
Lord  Tyrconnell's  appointment  to  the  Viceroyship  in  1687, 
was  the  direct  sequel  to  the  war  waged  by  the  Irish  Con- 
federation in  the  royal  cause  of  Charles  I  against  the 
Parliament  and  Cromwell.  That  war,  long  drawn  out 
and  marked  by  many  of  the  savage  incidents  not  peculiar, 
as  Protestant  writers  affirmed,  to  Ireland,  but  common  to  all 
wars  in  that  age,  had  led  to  the  wholesale  confiscation  of 
the  estates  of  the  Catholic  nobility  and  landed  gentry  of 
the  country.  Then  occurred  the  great  migration  of  the 
native  Irish  nobility,  who  with  only  their  pedigrees  in  their 
pockets  and  their  swords  by  their  sides  left  their  homes  to 
seek  their  fortunes  in  foreign  lands.  They  went  to  Spain, 
the  Netherlands,  and  Austria  ;  very  few  on  this  occasion 
going  to  France.  The  emigration  of  1649-51,  unlike  its 
successor  in  1690-1,  was  that  of  a  class  limited  in  numbers, 
scattered  over  a  certain  period  and  following  different 
routes  as  opportunity  occurred.  If  we  put  the  emigration 
at  a  total  of  5000  individuals  we  probably  exceed  the  truth, 
but  they  represented  the  cream  of  the  native  Irish  chiefs, 
whose  ancestors  had  fought  under  Art  Macmurrogh  against 
Henry  VIII  and  under  the  two  O'Neils  against  Elizabeth. 
These  men  had  lost  their  estates,  their  castles  had  been 
destroyed,  and  in  the  pedigrees  of  more  than  one  illustrious 



Hiberno-Austrian  family  the  founder  of  the  old  house  on 
foreign  soil  recites  as  the  cause  of  his  presence,  "  domibus 
ab  Cromwello  raptis."  The  lands  were  given  to  others, 
and  the  others  were  "  the  tinkers  and  tailors  "  who  had 
been  turned  into  soldiers  by  the  iron  discipline  of  the  Lord 
Protector.  A  fresh  plantation  of  Englishry  had  been 
effected  in  Ireland  on  terms  very  advantageous  to  these  new 
settlers.  History  does  not  contain  a  more  striking  instance 
of  the  spoils  to  the  victors. 

But  the  period  of  Republican  triumph  was  brief,  a  day 
of  reckoning  came  for  the  King-killers,  and  the  Restoration 
of  the  Stuarts  raised  hope  once  more  in  the  hearts  of  the 
Irish  and  other  exiles  who  had  lost  all  for  their  cause. 
The  hopes  of  the  English  and  Scottish  cavaliers  were  to  be 
realised,  those  of  the  Irish  were  to  be  dashed  to  the  ground. 
Charles  II  publicly  and  solemnly  declared  that  he  would 
see  them  righted.  In  his  speech  to  his  first  Parliament,  he 
said  :  "  I  hope  I  need  not  put  you  in  mind  of  Ireland, 
and  that  they  alone  shall  not  be  without  the  benefit  of 
my  mercy.  They  have  shown  much  affection  to  me  abroad, 
and  you  will  have  a  care  of  my  honour  and  what  I  have 
promised  them."  These  were  fine  words ;  unfortunately 
they  were  not  matched  by  acts.  It  would  require  much 
space  to  show  how  and  why  the  Irish  Catholics  did  not 
recover  their  estates.  It  must  suffice  to  say  here  that  the 
Cromwellian  confiscations  were  left  undisturbed.  Ten 
years  of  recent  occupation  were  held  of  greater  force  than 
ten  centuries  of  prior  possession.  So  much  for  Charles  II 
and  his  promises. 

A  new  situation  was  created  with  the  accession  of  his 
brother,  James  II,  in  1685.  James  was  a  declared  Catholic 
where  his  brother  was  a  concealed,  and  as  England  was 
essentially  Protestant  it  was  a  brave  thing  on  James's  part, 
whatever  we  may  think  of  its  wisdom  (all  religious  con- 
troversies being  not  merely  foreign  to  this  historical  narrative 
but  repugnant  to  my  mind),  to  proclaim  that  his  religion 
was  different  from  the  Church  and  sentiment  of  his 


principal  Kingdom.  The  matter  has  a  direct  bearing 
on  our  subject.  If  James  had  not  become  a  Catholic  there 
would  have  been  no  Jacobite  Movement  in  Ireland  and 
no  Irish  Brigade  in  France. 

No  elaboration  is  needed  to  show  that  the  Catholics  of 
Ireland  at  once  became  an  important  political  factor  in  the 
calculations  of  a  Catholic  King,  and  there  was  a  man  in 
James's  confidence  who  did  not  fail  to  impress  upon  him 
the  wisdom  of  utilising  the  military  resources  placed  at 
his  disposal  by  the  religious  zeal  and  sympathy  of  the  Irish 
Catholics.  This  man  was  Colonel  Richard  Talbot,  whose 
policy  in  the  cause  of  James  closely  resembled  that  of 
Strafford  half  a  century  earlier  on  behalf  of  Charles  I. 
Macaulay,  following  the  English  libellers  of  the  day, 
has  given  a  very  unfavourable  picture  of  Dick  Talbot, 
but  Macaulay's  Whig  prepossessions  destroyed  or  deadened 
his  sense  of  a  historian's  duty,  and  in  this  particular  instance 
he  especially  allowed  his  pen  to  run  riot,  and  he  laid  the 
colours  on  thick  in  the  conviction  that  no  one  would  ever 
think  it  worth  their  while  to  take  up  the  cause  of  vindicating 
Lord  Tyrconnell  from  his  scurrilous  attacks.  It, will  not  be 
difficult  to  show  that,  although  Tyrconnell  was  not  on 
the  same  plane  as  Strafford  in  statesmanship,  he  was  not 
the  poor  creature  that  Macaulay's  diatribes  have  led  the 
English  reader  so  long  to  believe,  and  that  he  was  a  man  of 
honour  and  of  rare  devotion  to  his  King. 

The  Talbots  of  Cartown,  in  the  county  of  Kildare, 
were  descendants  of  the  House  of  Shrewsbury.  Their 
establishment  in  Ireland  dated  no  farther  back  than  the 
sixteenth  century,  but  although  among  the  latest  recruits 
of  English  immigrants  they,  like  so  many  other  of  the 
Norman  settlers,  had  become  more  Irish  than  the  Irish. 
When  Sir  William  Talbot,  upon  whom  James  I  had  con- 
ferred a  baronetcy,  was  sent  by  the  Irish  Confederates  to 
plead  their  cause  before  the  House  of  Commons,  he  made 
an  oration  of  such  striking  eloquence  that  it  was  decided 
to  send  him  to  the  Tower,  "  because  Ireland  will  never  be 


subdued  whilst  it  possesses  such  an  orator."  By  his  wife, 
Alison  Netterville,  Sir  William  Talbot  had  a  large  family, 
of  whom  there  were  eight  sons  and  at  least  one  daughter, 
Mary,  who  married  Sir  John  Dungan,  second  Baronet, 
whose  eldest  son,  William,  afterwards  became  Earl  of 
Limerick.  Another  of  his  sons,  named  Walter,  was  with 
Richard  Talbot  at  Madrid  in  1653,  and  afterwards  served 
some  time  in  the  French  army.  The  fact  that  Walter 
Dungan  was  only  a  year  or  so  younger  than  his  uncle 
Richard  has  led  to  some  confusion  and  uncertainty. 

Of  the  order  in  which  these  sons  came  by  age  it  is  im- 
possible to  speak  with  any  confidence,  except  that  the 
eldest  was  named  Robert  and  succeeded  to  the  baronetcy. 
Some  writers  have  placed  Richard  fifth  in  order,  but  there 
seems  no  doubt  that  he  was,  as  Father  Anselm  stated  in  his 
funeral  oration  before  King  James  at  the  English  Church  in 
Paris,  the  youngest.  The  names  of  the  sons  appear  to  have 
been  Robert,  Peter,  Gilbert,  John,  James,  Thomas,  Garret, 
and  Richard.  The  Griffith  Talbot,  who  died  in  London 
in  1724  at  the  age  of  eighty- two,  must  have  been  a  nephew 
and  not  a  brother  as  assumed  in  some  of  the  peerages. 
The  confusion  in  distinguishing  among  the  members  of 
the  Talbot  Family  is  excusable,  seeing  that  there  were 
fourteen  members  of  the  Cartown  family  serving  James  II 
in  1689,  and  all  my  efforts  to  fix  the  relationship  of  one 
called  Buno  Talbot  have  failed.  It  is  also  hazardous  to 
establish  the  connection  of  Colonel  Richard  Talbot  of  the 
Bastille  and  Luzzara  fame  with  the  Duke,  although  there 
is  no  reasonable  doubt  that  he  was  his  natural  son.  Of  Sir 
William's  sons  the  only  two  to  find  a  place  in  history  were 
Peter,  who  joined  the  Order  of  Jesuits  and  became  titular 
Archbishop  of  Dublin,  and  Richard,  with  whom  we  are 
chiefly  concerned. 

The  date  of  Richard's  birth  is  uncertain,  but  it  is 
believed  to  have  taken  place  in  1630,  and  he  is  supposed  to 
have  received  his  first  commission  as  a  cornet  of  horse  in 
Charles  I's  Irish  army  when  he  was  only  eleven  years  of 


age.  If  such  a  commission  was  issued  it  is  to  be  regarded  as 
purely  honorific,  for  he  remained  at  home  receiving  his 
education,  chiefly  from  his  mother,  until  he  was  fifteen. 
At  that  age  he  may  have  joined  Lord  Preston's  army,  and 
was  present  with  it  at  the  rout  outside  Dublin  in  1647. 
He  was  taken  prisoner  on  this  occasion,  but  does  not  seem 
to  have  been  detained  long  (probably  being  exchanged  or 
released  on  account  of  his  youth),  for  in  the  following  year 
he  was  one  of  the  defenders  of  Drogheda  against  Cromwell. 

He  was  severely  wounded  during  the  assault  on  and 
sack  of  the  place,  and  left  for  dead  on  the  ground.  It  was 
said  that  he  lay  there  for  three  days,  and  owed  his  life  to  an 
Englishman  called  Commissary  Reynolds  who,  noticing 
some  signs  of  life  in  what  was  thought  to  be  a  dead  body, 
took  him  into  the  town  and  gradually  brought  him  round. 
If  the  story  is  true  that  Reynolds  had  great  difficulty  in 
saving  him  from  a  fanatical  brother  soldier  who  wished 
to  kill  him  when  he  declared  himself  to  be  a  Catholic,  a 
guardian  angel  must  surely  have  watched  over  the  young 
Talbot.  He  is  included  among  the  twelve  Irish  survivors, 
including  men,  women  and  children,  of  the  sack  of  Drog- 
heda. When  he  had  recovered  from  his  wounds  Reynolds 
provided  him  with  a  woman's  dress,  and  in  this  garb  he 
finally  escaped  from  the  town.  As  Talbot  was  considerably 
above  the  stature  of  even  tall  men — he  was  sometimes 
called  Goliath  at  the  Court  of  Charles  II — the  manner  in 
which  he  escaped  has  sometimes  roused  incredulity.  After 
the  conclusion  of  the  war  in  Ireland,  and  when  leave  was 
given  to  the  Catholics  to  go  abroad,  Richard  Talbot  went 
to  Spain.  He  and  his  nephew,  Walter  Dungan,  were  at 
Madrid  in  1653,  and  when  they  learnt  that  Charles  II  had 
fixed  his  Court  at  Breda  they  proceeded  to  join  him.  This 
step  seems  to  have  been  taken  on  the  invitation  of  Peter 
Talbot,  who  was  one  of  the  principal  advisers  of  the  Duke 
of  York. 

At  this  juncture  James,  Duke  of  York  was  serving  in  the 
French  army  in  Flanders  under  Turenne,  and  had  greatly 


distinguished  himself  by  his  courage.  Richard  Talbot 
served  with  him,  and  in  the  royalist  camp  many  daring 
schemes  were  suggested,  and  found  favour  with  the  young 
bloods  who  were  growing  up  to  manhood  with  the  exiled 
princes.  There  was  the  Wogan  affair,  when  that  young 
officer  and  eight  others  made  their  way,  in  fulfilment  of  a 
pledge,  to  London,  and  rode  through  the  length  of  England 
in  an  open  manner  to  join  the  Stuart  partisans  in  the 
Highlands.  They  reached  their  destination  in  safety, 
and  after  passing  through  these  great  dangers  Wogan  died 
through  the  neglect  of  a  trivial  wound. 

Dick  Talbot,  in  the  full  force  and  flush  of  his  youth, 
was  not  to  be  outdone  at  this  kind  of  game  even  by  another 
Irishman.  He  went  over  to  London,  in  1655,  on  no 
Platonic  mission.  Nothing  less  than  the  assassination  of 
the  arch-enemy  Cromwell  would  satisfy  him.  There  had 
been  a  blood  feud  on  his  side  since  Drogheda.  He  crossed 
the  Channel,  he  resided  in  London  for  a  time,  and  then 
was  arrested  before  his  scheme  had  taken  form  in  his  own 
mind.  He  was  brought  before  Cromwell  himself,  who 
cross-questioned  him,  and  then  he  was  consigned  to  prison 
for  further  examination.  He  had  a  good  supply  of  guineas 
in  his  pocket,  and  induced  his  guards  on  the  way  to  the 
Tower  to  enter  a  wine  shop.  Here  he  drank  with  them 
hard  and  fast  until  all  except  himself  were  under  the  table, 
whereupon  he  escaped  while  they  were  sleeping  off  the 
effects  of  their  debauch.  He  reached  Brussels  on  January  3, 
1656,  and  was  soon  appointed  to  command  as  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  the  regiment  named  after  the  Duke  of  York,  and 
composed  chiefly  of  men  from  Munster. 

When  the  Restoration  took  place  he  returned  to  the 
Duke  of  York,  to  whom  he  was  appointed  gentleman  of  the 
bed-chamber,  at  a  salary  of  ^300  a  year.  He  was  one  of 
the  prominent  figures  in  the  gay  and  giddy  Court  of 
Charles  II.  He  made  love  to  Elizabeth  Hamilton,  and  then 
to  Fanny  Jennings.  He  was  so  much  in  love  with  the 
latter  that  he  presumed  to  give  her  good  advice — she  also 


was  of  the  York  establishment  being  lady-in-waiting  to 
the  Duchess — at  which  she  took  umbrage,  flirted  with  little 
Lord  Jermyn — the  David  to  Talbot's  Goliath — and  event- 
ually married  Sir  George  Hamilton. 

The  question  of  the  restoration  of  the  Irish  lands  to 
their  proper  owners  now  comes  up,  and  Talbot  is  accused 
of  doing  what  every  one  else  did  at  the  time,  taking  bribes. 
When  he  was  taxed  with  claiming  commission  on  some 
lands  that  he  had  helped  owners  to  recover,  he  replied 
haughtily  :  "  At  least  I  helped  to  restore  lands,  not  to 
forfeit  them  like  the  Duke  of  Ormonde,"  who  was  accused 
of  receiving  a  large  extension  to  his  estate  as  the  price  of 
his  opposing  the  repeal  of  the  Cromwellian  forfeitures. 
Ormonde  hears  of  this  remark  and  accuses  "  the  gentleman 
of  the  bed-chamber "  of  presumption  and  insolence. 
Talbot  gives  him  a  high  answer,  and  tells  him  that  Duke  as 
he  is,  he  is  every  way  as  good  as  he,  and  challenges  him  to  a 
duel.  Ormonde,  the  foremost  man  of  the  exiled  Court, 
and  scarcely  less  important  at  Whitehall,  hurries  off  to 
Charles  and  asks,  "  Is  it  compatible  with  my  dignity  to 
fight  with  Colonel  Talbot  ?  "  Charles  says  "  no,"  and 
sends  Colonel  Talbot  to  the  Tower. 

The  offence  is  not  deemed  so  very  great,  for  in  the  very 
next  year  Talbot  is  sent  to  Portugal  to  bring  back  the 
King's  bride,  Catherine  of  Braganza.  He  then  becomes 
more  than  ever  closely  connected  with  the  Duke  of  York, 
whose  household  he  manages ;  and  when  that  prince 
took  command  of  the  fleet  in  the  war  with  the  Dutch, 
he  fought  on  board  his  ship  at  the  severe  battle  off  Lowes- 
toft.  Seven  years  later  he  was  taken  prisoner  in  the  battle 
in  Sole  Bay,  near  Southwold.  Before  that  incident  he 
had  married  the  languishing  Miss  (Mary)  Boynton,  "  with- 
out knowing  exactly  why  "  (sans  savoir  pourguoi),  in  the 
words  of  Gramont,  and  she  died  in  1678  in  Dublin,  leaving 
him  with  a  single  daughter,  named  Charlotte,  who  eventu- 
ally married  his  nephew  and  became  Countess  of  Tyr- 
connell.  W7e  shall  make  her  better  acquaintance  later  on. 


>'  ,  ^*^/iw&'sesrz'^ifoe/<-//K*z^t£rttfiC'  t-J&t-^ia*^ \^£t<t*£e^-;us. 



In  1678  Talbot  was  in  Ireland  when  his  brother  Peter 
was  Archbishop  of  Dublin.  They  were  incriminated 
in  the  concocted  revelations  of  the  Titus  Gates  conspiracy. 
Peter  was  accused  of  aiming  at  the  establishment  of 
Catholic  supremacy,  Richard  of  holding  the  Pope's  com- 
mission to  serve  as  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Irish 
forces.  The  allegations  were  really  farcical  and  without 
foundation.  This  does  not  of  course  alter  the  main 
fact  that  they  were  both  of  them  prominent  Catholics. 
Rumours  of  Papist  plots  were  at  this  time  upsetting 
the  judgment  of  the  whole  nation.  The  two  Talbots 
were  imprisoned  in  Dublin,  their  master,  the  Duke  of 
York,  was  temporarily  banished  from  the  kingdom  to 
Flanders.  In  the  midst  of  this  trouble  Mary  Boynton 
died,  and  Richard,  having  no  further  tie  to  keep  him  in 
Ireland,  exerted  his  ingenuity  in  removing  bolts  and  bars 
once  more  and  made  good  his  escape  to  France,  and  there 
a  remarkable  incident  occurs  in  his  life.  He  meets  his 
first  love,  Fanny  Jennings,  now  a  widow,  in  Paris,  and 
forthwith  marries  her,  though  she  has  not  a  penny  and  is 
burdened  with  six  daughters. 

We  must  leave  Talbot  for  a  moment  to  describe  the 
fortunes  of  his  second  wife,  since  they  were  members 
together  of  the  York  establishment  in  the  first  five  or 
six  years  of  the  reign  of  Charles  II.  Talbot  had  been 
genuinely  in  love  with  the  sprightly  Frances,  and  she 
had  been  well  disposed  to  give  him  her  hand  and  heart ; 
but  he  had  offended  her  when  he  presumed  to  offer  her 
advice,  because  she  prided  herself  most  of  all  on  her  capacity 
to  take  care  of  herself.  The  reader  of  the  Gramont 
Memoirs  will  know  how  effectively  she  repelled  and  got 
rid  of  the  attentions  of  James  himself  by  allowing  his 
billets-doux  to  drop  unopened  from  her  muff.  At  last, 
in  1665,  she  married  George  Hamilton,  the  second  son 
of  Sir  George  Hamilton,  Bart.,  who  was  the  younger  son 
of  James  Hamilton,  first  Earl  of  Abercorn.  Sir  George 
Hamilton  married  the  daughter  of  Lord  Thurles,  and 


the  sister  of  James  Butler,  first  Duke  of  Ormonde,  and 
by  her  he  had  a  family  of  at  least  six  sons  and  three  daugh- 
ters. The  sons  were  in  their  order  of  birth,  James,  George, 
Anthony,  Richard,  Thomas,  and  John.  Of  the  daughters 
the  best  known  was  Elizabeth,  la  belle  Hamilton,  who 
married  in  1665  Philibert,  Count  de  Gramont ;  but  it 
may  be  mentioned  that  one  of  her  sisters  married  Matthew 
Ford  and  the  other  Sir  Donogh  O'Brien.  James  was  killed 
in  1673  in  a  naval  battle  with  the  Dutch,  Thomas  also 
died  in  a  sea  fight  later  on,  while  serving  with  the  French 
fleet,  and  Elizabeth's  two  sisters  have  no  place  in  our 
narrative.  With  Elizabeth  and  three  of  her  brothers  we 
shall  come  into  repeated  contact. 

Sir  George  Hamilton,  like  Sir  William  Talbot,  was  a 
Catholic  and  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  Irish  Confederation. 
He  had  consequently  to  give  up  his  property  at  Roscrea, 
in  the  county  of  Tipperary,  and  he  withdrew  with  his 
family  to  Paris  in  the  year  1651.  At  that  time  his  son 
George  was  about  seven,  Anthony  five,  and  Richard  three 
years  of  age.  Lady  Hamilton's  sister  was  the  Countess  of 
Clancarty,  and  they  all  seem  to  have  lived  with  their 
brother,  the  Duke  of  Ormonde,  during  the  years  of  exile. 
This  fact  explains  how  easily  the  younger  Hamiltons 
adopted  France  as  a  second  home.  When  Charles,  by 
his  treaty  with  France,  allowed  Louis  to  recruit  a  regiment 
of  English  gendarmes,  in  Ireland,  about  1670,  George 
Hamilton  was  appointed  its  Colonel,  and  it  is  curious  to 
note  that  the  scale  of  pay  then  scheduled  for  officers  and 
men  served  as  a  model  for  the  one  adopted  in  1692,  when 
the  Irish  brigade  passed  into  France.  In  consequence 
of  this  appointment  George  and  his  wife  took  up  their 
residence  in  Paris,  where  most  of  their  children  were  born, 
and  the  title  of  Count  was  conferred  on  the  Colonel,  who 
had  not  then  succeeded  to  the  baronetcy. 

Hamilton  and  his  regiment  played  a  distinguished  part 
in  Turenne's  campaigns,  and  for  a  time  John  Churchill 
served  under  him.  Hamilton  was  present  when  Turenne 


was  killed  in  1675,  and  the  next  year  was  himself  killed 
at  Saverne.  Some  months  before  this  event  Evelyn 
describes  in  his  diary  a  journey  to  Dover  in  the  company 
of  Lady  Hamilton.  His  comment  on  her  is,  "  Lady 
Hamilton,  a  sprightly  young  lady  (had  been  maid  of 
honour  to  the  Duchess  of  York,  and  turned  Papist), 
accompanied  Lady  Berkeley  and  her  husband,  Ambassador 
to  France  and  Plenipotentiary  for  Nimeguen."  A  few 
months  later  she  was  a  widow,  and  Madame  de  Sevigne 
devotes  some  of  her  pity  to  her  because  she  was  "  left 
penniless  with  six  children,  all  of  them  girls."  Louis 
probably  gave  her  a  pension,  for  she  was  still  living  in 
Paris  in  1679  when  Talbot,  himself  a  widower,  appeared 
upon  the  scene  and  married  her. 

On  George  Hamilton's  death  the  question  arose  who 
should  succeed  him  in  the  command  of  the  regiment, 
and  for  a  short  space  his  next  brother,  Anthony,  held 
the  command  as  locum  tenens.  John  Churchill  was 
proposed  for  the  post,  but  the  stern  Louvois  decided 
that  "  he  was  too  much  addicted  to  pleasure,"  and  be- 
stowed it  on  Justin  McCarthy,  whom  we  shall  know 
later  on  as  Viscount  Mountcashell.  He  was  the  third 
son  of  Donogh  McCarthy,  first  Earl  of  Clancarty,  by 
Elizabeth  Butler,  and  consequently  first  cousin  of  the 
Hamiltons.  At  this  time  Richard  Hamilton  was  also 
serving  in  the  French  army  in  the  regiment  de  Roussillon. 
The  peace  of  Nimeguen  being  signed,  Louis  at  once 
reduced  his  army,  and  the  regiment  of  English  gendarmes 
was  abolished,  McCarthy  and  the  Hamiltons  returning  to 

In  1679,  at  tne  time  of  the  marriage  of  Richard  Talbot 
and  Frances  Hamilton,  James  was  residing  in  Brussels, 
it  having  been  deemed  prudent  to  send  him  out  of  England 
during  the  excitement  over  what  was  known  as  the  Popish 
plot.  An  alarming  illness  of  Charles  II  led  to  his  sudden 
return,  and  at  the  same  time  Talbot  and  his  wife  crossed 
over  either  with  the  Duke  of  York  or  immediately  after- 


wards.  Charles  recovering  from  his  illness,  it  was  thought 
desirable  that  James  should  again  quit  London,  and 
during  the  last  five  years  of  his  brother's  life  he  was  con- 
stantly travelling  here  and  there,  now  at  York  on  his 
way  to  Scotland,  for  a  brief  space  at  Edinburgh,  and  again 
in  Flanders.  In  these  journeys  Talbot  was  James's  con- 
stant companion  and  most  trusted  confidant,  and  the 
relations  formed  in  the  days  of  exile  under  Cromwell 
were  cemented  by  the  close  association  of  this  later  period. 
Talbot  was  not  merely  a  brave  man,  but  an  amusing, 
and  his  presence  always  cheered  James  in  the  days  of  his 

James,  having  become  King,  thought  naturally  enough 
of  rewarding  the  most  faithful  member  of  his  household, 
and  Talbot  proposed  to  him  that  the  time  was  favourable 
for  the  restoration  of  their  estates  to  some  at  least  of 
the  Irish  Catholics  as  his  brother  Charles  had  promised. 
They  have  met  many  of  them  abroad — Taaffes,  Kavanaghs, 
O'Neils,  and  O'Donnels,  to  name  but  a  few — all  dreaming 
that  their  forfeited  lands  must  come  back  to  them  under 
a  Catholic  king.  Talbot  is  also  a  soldier,  and  has  military 
schemes.  An  Irish  Catholic  army  might  prove  a  bulwark 
of  the  throne,  but  the  existing  Irish  army  is  Protestant, 
with  a  pronounced  leaning  towards  Presbyterianism  and 
Cromwellism.  Talbot  suggests  that  he  is  willing  to  purge 
it  of  these  elements,  and  James  adopts  the  suggestion. 

But  for  other  reasons  the  Earl  of  Clarendon,  James's 
brother-in-law,  the  uncle  of  his  daughters,  has  been 
appointed  Lord  Deputy  or  Viceroy,  and  he  is  a  strong 
Protestant.  His  idea  is  to  rule  Ireland  by  and  for  the 
English,  and  towards  Talbot  he  has  a  personal  repugnance, 
which  he  seems  to  have  transmitted  to  Macaulay.  Talbot 
is  an  Irishman  and  a  Catholic,  two  facts  which  disqualify 
him  from  all  consideration  in  the  eyes  of  men  like  Clarendon. 
Notwithstanding  his  dislike  for  his  associate,  Clarendon 
has  to  acquiesce  in  Talbot's  appointment  with  the  rank 
of  Lieut. -General,  "  to  regulate  the  troops,  and  to  place 


and  displace  whom  he  pleased."  In  the  royal  letter  of 
appointment  he  is  described  as  "  a  man  of  great  abilities 
and  clear  courage,  and  one  who  for  many  years  had  had 
a  true  attachment  to  His  Majesty's  person  and  interests." 

It  is  rather  difficult  to  discover  that  Talbot  accom- 
plished very  much  during  this  first  commission,  and  it 
is  more  reasonable  to  suppose  that  he  was  thinking  mainly 
of  his  future  plans.  Among  his  most  definite  measures  was 
the  attempt  to  disarm  the  militia  by  requiring  them  to 
deposit  their  arms  in  the  residences  of  the  captains.  Both 
Anthony  and  Richard  Hamilton  were  sent  to  Ireland 
at  the  same  time,  and  associated  with  him  in  this  work. 
In  1686  Talbot  returned  to  London,  to  report  what  he 
had  done  and  to  make  suggestions ;  and  although  Clarendon 
did  not  refrain  from  stating  that  he  entirely  disapproved 
of  everything  in  his  programme,  James  expressed  his 
approval  of  Talbot's  conduct  and  created  him  Earl  of 
Tyrconnell.  In  consequence  of  Clarendon's  discontent, 
James  began  to  entertain  the  idea  of  replacing  him  by 
Tyrconnell,  and  this  intention  was  strengthened  by 
Clarendon's  own  orders  in  Council,  assuring  the  Protestants 
that  they  would  be  left  unmolested  and  free  from  arbi- 
trary treatment.  While  Clarendon  reassured  them,  Talbot 
had  tried  to  take  away  their  arms.  The  Protestants  were 
alarmed,  the  Catholics  began  to  raise  their  heads,  and  all 
the  premonitions  of  change  and  turmoil  were  in  the  air. 
In  the  preamble  to  Lord  Tyrconnell's  patent  as  a  peer  of 
the  realm  reference  is  made  to  "  his  immaculate  allegiance 
and  his  infinitely  great  services  performed  to  the  King 
and  to  Charles  II  in  England,  Ireland,  and  foreign  parts, 
in  which  he  suffered  frequent  injuries  and  many  wounds." 

At  this  juncture,  February,  1687,  Clarendon  resigns, 
and  Tyrconnell,  as  we  must  now  call  him,  proceeds  as 
Viceroy  to  Ireland,  to  take  up  the  reins  of  power,  which 
he  was  to  hold  without  a  break  (except  during  the  King's 
visit)  till  his  death,  nearly  five  years  later.  They  are 
to  be  the  five  most  stirring  years  in  Irish  history,  and  names 


will  be  mentioned  and  scenes  described  which  even  to-day, 
after  the  lapse  of  two  centuries,  suffice  to  raise  the  storm 
of  faction  and  bitter  strife.  The  appointment  of  Lord 
Tyrconnell  was  received  by  the  English  public  with  some 
dismay,  for  it  was  fully  appreciated  that  he  was  a  man  of 
action,  and  that  he  would  not  confine  his  proceedings 
to  empty  words.  The  observant  Evelyn  records  that 
"  his  departure  for  Ireland  could  only  herald  a  marked 
change  and  stormy  times." 

Tyrconnell,  who  had  been  half-courtier,  half-soldier  up 
to  this  point,  had  now  got  the  chance  of  showing  his  merit 
on  the  larger  stage  of  statesmanship  ;  but,  unfortunately, 
he  was  in  his  fifty-seventh  year,  and  had  lived  a  hard  life — 
hard,  not  in  Macaulay's  sense,  but  from  many  wounds  in 
honourable  fray,  from  the  time  of  Drogheda,  and  from 
confinements  as  prisoner  of  war  or  of  state  in  many  prisons. 
Activity  and  energy  were  especially  needed  in  the  task 
that  lay  before  him  ;  and,  owing  to  his  physical  condition, 
they  were  the  qualities  in  which  he  was  least  well  provided. 
On  the  other  hand,  he  knew  exactly  what  he  wanted  to 
do,  and  if  any  man  could  transfer  the  ruling  power  from 
the  hands  of  the  Protestant  faction  to  those  of  the  Catholic 
faction,  he  had  the  knowledge  of  Irish  affairs  and  the 
courage  of  his  opinions  to  do  the  deed. 

So  far  as  his  policy  in  Ireland  was  concerned,  James  left 
the  entire  matter  in  Tyrconnell's  hands,  and  he  took  no 
active  part  in  the  management  of  the  Irish  question 
until  after  his  arrival  in  Dublin  in  March,  1689.  The 
whole  credit  of  success  or  the  whole  discredit  of  failure 
rested  with  Tyrconnell,  and  it  is  therefore  important  to 
record  that  King  James,  compiling  in  the  closing  years 
of  his  life  his  own  authentic  narrative — which,  as  Sir 
John  Macpherson  (the  Whig)  records,  has  never  been 
shaken  as  a  record  of  fact — declares  that  Ireland  was 
certainly  "  never  in  a  more  flourishing  way  than  during  the 
time  he  (Tyrconnell)  governed  it." 

The  three  measures  that  Tyrconnell  took  immediately 


after  his  arrival  related  to  the  civic  charters,  the  abuse 
of  the  pulpits  as  places  from  which  politics  might  be 
fulminated,  and  the  control  and  reorganisation  of  the 
army,  with  regard  to  which  very  little  had  been  accom- 
plished during  his  earlier  missions,  owing  to  Lord  Claren- 
don's opposition  and  veto. 

The  civic  councils,  owing  to  the  Cromwellian  law 
unrepealed  by  Charles  II,  were  entirely  in  the  hands  of 
the  Protestants.  Catholics  were  ineligible  for  a  seat  on 
them,  and  when  the  Viceroy  proposed  a  change  he  was 
met  with  a  defiant  answer,  "  Here  are  our  charters !  " 
In  very  moderate  language  Lord  Tyrconnell  proposed 
that  Catholics,  not  less  than  Protestants,  should  be  made 
free  of  the  Corporations ;  but  when  his  proposal  was  met 
with  defiant  rejection,  he  resorted  to  the  weapons  left 
to  him  by  the  exercise  of  the  royal  prerogative,  and  he 
issued  an  order  in  Council  calling  in  the  charters.  Some 
acquiesced  without  demur ;  others  protested  and  took 
measures  to  defeat  the  Viceroy.  Among  the  latter  were 
Dublin  and  Londonderry.  Dublin  sent  its  Recorder, 
Sir  Richard  Rivers,  to  London  to  protest,  but  King 
James  was  in  no  mood  for  such  controversies,  and  ordered 
him  to  return  without  an  audience.  The  matter  was 
referred  to  the  Courts,  which  decided  almost  without 
debate  that  the  King  could  cancel  or  suspend  whatever 
charters  had  been  granted  by  the  Crown,  and  finally 
all  had  to  be  brought  in.  There  was,  in  James's  words, 
"  no  great  trouble  except  at  Londonderry  (a  stubborn 
people,  as  they  appeared  to  be  afterwards),  who  stood 
an  obstinate  suit,  but  were  forced  at  last  to  undergo  the 
same  fate  with  the  rest." 

The  calling  in  of  the  charters  was  the  first  blow  at 
the  Protestant  ascendancy  established  by  Cromwell,  and 
in  all  the  towns  of  Ireland,  with  the  possible  exception 
of  Londonderry  and  Enniskillen,  it  was  in  accordance  with 
simple  justice  that  the  Corporations  should  be  free  to 
Catholics  and  Protestants  alike.  The  ephemeral  republic 


of  Cromwell  had  given  an  aggravated  form  to  English 
ascendancy  in  Ireland  by  importing  a  religious  test  and 
privilege  which  had  never  before  been  tolerated  or 
dreamt  of. 

The  second  matter  to  which  Lord  Tyrconnell  turned 
his  attention  was  the  suppression  of  political  oratory 
from  the  pulpit.  An  order  in  Council  was  issued,  with 
a  warning  as  to  the  penalties  that  persistence  in  this  course 
would  entail,  and  with  a  pointed  "  reference  to  a  few 
fiery  spirits  in  the  pulpit  who  seek  to  discuss  matters 
that  do  not  appertain  to  them,  and  who  declare  that 
the  King  intends  to  rule  by  a  new  and  arbitrary  law." 
What  King  James  did  intend  was  that  his  Catholic  sub- 
jects, who  in  Ireland  at  that  time  outnumbered  his  Pro- 
testant by  ten  to  one,  should  have  equal  rights  with  the 
Protestants,  and  no  one  in  these  days  would  dare  to  call 
that  unjust  or  tyrannical.  Even  Macaulay,  the  champion 
of  militant  Orangeism,  did  not  venture  to  say  that.  He 
confined  himself  to  hurling  epithets  of  abuse  and  con- 
tumely at  the  head  of  the  innocent  and  unoffending 

Undoubtedly  the  measures  relating  to  the  armed  forces 
of  the  country  were  the  most  important  part  of  Lord 
Tyrconnell's  programme.  The  regular  garrison  was  small, 
and  seems  to  have  consisted  in  1685  of  no  more  than  two 
regiments,  known  after  the  names  of  their  respective 
commanders,  Lord  Mount  joy  and  Colonel  Lundy.  In 
addition  there  was  a  large  militia,  to  which  only  Protestants 
were  admitted.  It  might  be  said  without  much  exaggera- 
tion that  every  adult  Protestant  was  a  militiaman,  and 
in  that  capacity  he  had  a  musket  and  a  sword,  which  he 
kept  in  his  house.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Catholics 
were  not  merely  excluded  from  all  military  training, 
but  they  were  absolutely  deprived  of  arms.  After  1650-51 
there  was  not  a  single  armed  Catholic  in  the  country, 
and  as  there  were  neither  arsenals  nor  factories,  there 
were  no  means  of  replacing  what  had  been  confiscated. 


In  the  whole  range  of  history  there  is  no  similar  case 
of  an  entire  nation  being  placed  in  a  state  of  absolute 
defencelessness  as  the  Catholics  were  in  the  thirty  years 
immediately  preceding  the  accession  of  James  II. 

The  first  step  towards  redressing  this  flagrant  injustice 
was  taken  when  Tyrconnell  ordered  all  the  arms  of  the 
militia  to  be  stored  with  the  captains,  and  only  to  be 
distributed  when  the  men  were  called  out  for  drill.  This 
was  followed  by  an  order  to  the  regular  troops  requiring 
them  to  pay  for  whatever  they  obtained  from  the  in- 
habitants, to  preserve  the  peace  and  to  refrain  from 
brawling.  In  the  same  order  there  was  a  strict  injunction 
that  none  of  the  officers  should  quit  their  garrisons,  and 
that  they  should  hold  themselves  in  readiness  to  support 
the  civil  authorities  on  all  occasions.  At  the  same  time 
more  definite  regulations  were  issued  as  to  the  pay  and 
clothing  of  the  troops. 

Finally,  two  regiments  of  Irish  Catholics — one  of  horse 
and  the  other  of  foot — were  raised,  and  as  soon  as  they 
had  been  recruited  to  full  strength  they  were  sent  across 
to  England  to  be  trained.  Several  of  the  officers  had 
served  in  the  Anglo-Irish  regiments  in  France.  Richard 
Hamilton  was  appointed  Colonel  of  the  horse  regiment, 
and  Cannon  (a  Scot,  whose  correct  name  seems  to  have 
been  Canan),  of  the  foot.  The  corps  was  first  quartered 
at  Chester,  where  it  underwent  some  preliminary  training, 
and  was  then  moved  to  Nottingham.  The  discipline  of 
these  troops  does  not  appear  to  have  been  very  strict, 
and  even  after  Lord  Dumbarton  was  appointed  to  the 
command  of  the  brigade  formed  by  these  two  regiments 
and  a  third  one  of  Irish  Dragoons,  the  order  maintained 
among  them  was  somewhat  lax.  The  truth  is  that  James 
did  not  know  what  to  do  with  his  Irish  auxiliaries  when 
he  got  them.  Their  presence  enabled  his  enemies  to 
suggest  that  he  contemplated  terrorising  England  with 
an  Irish  army.  The  unfortunate  Irishmen  were  only 
home-sick,  and  James  would  have  been  wise  if  he  had 


returned  them  promptly  to  their  own  country.  They 
stayed  on,  were  useless  for  all  practical  purposes,  and  were 
eventually  interned  in  the  Isle  of  Wight.  Many  of  them 
escaped  to  France  or  were  allowed  to  go  there,  and  so 
they  gradually  filtered  back  to  Ireland. 

The  mention  of  Richard  Hamilton's  name  excuses  a 
reference,  as  no  convenient  place  may  occur,  to  his  breach 
of  parole  of  which  Macaulay,  following  Story,  makes  so 
much  case  in  his  description  of  the  Boyne.  In  October, 
1688,  when  it  was  believed  that  William  would  land  on 
the  east  coast,  Richard  was  sent  to  Ipswich  with  his  regi- 
ment, which  was  attached  to  the  force  under  Sir  John 
Lanier.  When,  in  accordance  with  James's  instructions, 
Lord  Feversham  two  months  later  disbanded  his  army, 
Hamilton  came  to  London,  arriving  there  after  the  King 
had  gone.  The  Prince  of  Orange  was  anxious  about 
Ireland,  and  as  there  were  rumours  that  Tyrconnell 
would  accept  terms,  he  sought  an  emissary  to  send  him 
a  message.  Who  could  be  more  suitable  than  Tyrconnell's 
own  cousin,  Richard  Hamilton  ?  Hamilton  accepted 
the  mission  in  January,  1689,  and,  to  use  Dangeau's  words, 
he  "  went  to  Tyrconnell  on  the  Prince  of  Orange's  safe 
conduct  and  his  promise  not  to  join  the  troops."  Evelyn, 
referring  to  the  Boyne  in  July,  1690,  says,  "  Hamilton, 
who  broke  his  word  about  Tyrconnell,  was  taken,"  and 
therefore  the  two  diarists  agree.  Hamilton  was  not  to 
take  an  active  part  in  any  war,  and  therefore  he  broke 
his  parole,  to  the  injury  of  his  reputation  among  the  French 
authorities,  who  were  very  punctilious  in  such  matters. 
But,  judging  him  by  the  standard  of  English  life,  Hamilton 
was  no  better  or  worse  than  Marlborough,  Sunderland, 
and  hundreds  of  others.  The  only  difference  was  that  he 
broke  his  word  to  join  James  Stuart,  all  the  others  to  betray 

Having  thus  paved  the  way  for  the  creation  of  a  national 
Irish  army,  Tyrconnell  set  himself  to  the  more  serious 
task  of  raising  a  considerable  force  in  Ireland  itself,  and 


it  was  rendered  the  more  difficult  by  the  circumstance 
that  to  a  large  extent  it  had  to  be  done  sub  rosa.  For 
the  Protestants,  who  were  armed,  might  easily  become 
alarmed,  and,  taking  the  law  into  their  own  hands,  put 
an  end  to  his  Government  altogether.  Even  on  his  own 
Council,  strengthened  as  his  side  was  by  the  inclusion  of 
Antony  Hamilton  and  William  Talbot,  Tyrconnell  could 
not  be  sure  of  a  majority,  and  in  Lord  Mount  joy  he  had 
an  opponent  of  proved  skill  and  great  reputation.  The 
raising  of  Catholic  regiments  for  service  in  England  did 
not  excite  much  apprehension  among  the  Irish  Protestants, 
for  England  could  be  left  to  take  care  of  herself,  but  how 
would  it  be  when  recruiting  was  commenced  on  a  large 
scale  throughout  the  island  for  home  service  ? 

Tyrconnell  was  too  prudent  to  make  the  attempt,  and 
all  his  efforts  were  concentrated  on  the  concealment  of 
his  plans.  Antony  Hamilton  was  sent  to  Limerick  to  act 
as  governor  of  an  undefended  town,  which  was,  however, 
a  convenient  centre  for  rallying  to  the  cause  the  powerful 
family  of  O'Brien.  Justin  McCarthy  was  sent  on  a  similar 
mission  to  Cork.  Their  instructions  were  to  incite  the 
chiefs  of  the  Irish  families  to  prepare  lists  of  officers  and 
men  who  in  due  course  might  form  regiments  bearing 
their  names.  The  Munster  septs  were  especially  appealed 
to,  but  the  southern  counties  of  Leinster  and  parts  of 
Connaught  (including  the  whole  of  Galway)  were  also 
included  in  this  movement.  The  result  surpassed  Tyr- 
connell's  expectations.  An  army  of  50,000  men  was 
promptly  brought  into  existence  "  on  paper,"  and  the 
Protestant  leaders  had  no  inkling  of  the  movement.  But 
this  army  was  entirely  unarmed,  and  absolutely  innocent 
of  military  training. 

This  result  was  a  kind  of  moral  support  for  the  Viceroy, 
and  enabled  him  to  proceed  with  greater  confidence  in  his 
measures  for  dealing  with  the  regular  troops  who  were 
armed.  But  in  order  to  bring  home  to  the  levies  on  paper 
that  when  they  were  called  up  they  would  receive  good 


pay,  he  issued  special  schedules  showing  how  the  men  of 
the  different  arms  would  be  remunerated.  Soldiers  in 
ordinary  foot  regiments  were  to  receive  two  shillings  a 
week  for  subsistence  in  addition  to  their  clothes,  those 
selected  for  service  in  the  regiment  of  Guards  were  to 
receive  two  shillings  and  six  pence,  while  the  cavalry 
man  was  to  be  paid  for  himself  and  horse  six  shillings. 
These  allowances  were  high  for  the  times,  and  the  Irish 
recruits  looked  forward  with  eagerness  for  the  day  when 
they  would  begin.  Unfortunately  they  were  fixed  too 
high,  and  when  the  regiments  were  called  up  the  foot- 
soldier's  pay  had  to  be  reduced  to  one  shilling  and  sixpence, 
and  the  Guardsman's  to  two  shillings. 

By  the  time  that  these  preliminary  arrangements  had 
been  completed  it  was  known  in  Ireland  that  the  Prince  of 
Orange  had  landed  in  England,  and  this  news  was  speedily 
followed  by  the  tidings  of  the  Queen's  flight  and  the 
King's  detention.  Lord  Tyrconnell  decided  that  his  only 
safe  course  was  to  induce  the  two  Protestant  regiments 
to  remove  to  a  part  of  Ireland  where  he  knew  that  he  had 
no  influence,  and  to  which  his  own  plans  had  no  reference. 
He  visited  Lord  Mount  joy's  camp  at  Mullingar,  reviewed 
his  troops,  and  proposed  that  his  regiment  should  be  sent 
to  garrison  Londonderry.  Lord  Mount  joy,  who  believed 
that  Lord  Tyrconnell  might  not  be  averse  under  the 
stress  of  circumstances  to  come  to  terms  with  the  Prince 
of  Orange,  assented,  but  substituted  the  other  regiment 
for  his  own.  At  the  same  time  the  Protestant  soldiers 
were  granted  permission  to  leave  the  army  and  to  return 
to  their  homes.  This  offer  was  made  because  a  rumour 
was  current  that  the  Roman  Catholics  contemplated  a 
massacre  of  the  Protestants.  The  splitting  up  of  the 
force  rendered  it  no  longer  formidable  as  a  danger  to 
Tyrconnell's  government,  and  was  at  once  followed  by 
the  summons  to  the  Catholic  nobility  and  gentlemen  to 
call  out  their  regiments,  at  the  same  time  investing  them 
with  the  requisite  authority  to  grant  commissions. 


Before  the  end  of  January,  1689,  Tyrconnell  had  an 
Irish  army  of  60,000  men  on  the  roster,  but  very  few  of 
them  possessed  arms.  Some  muskets  had  been  taken  from 
the  militia,  a  few  more  had  been  surrendered  by  the  troops 
who  had  resigned,  and  no  doubt  there  was  a  small  stock  in 
Dublin  Castle.  The  Viceroy  had  also  called  in  all  bayonets, 
swords,  and  firearms  in  Dublin,  and  although  many  were 
concealed,  some  had  to  be  surrendered,  and  a  little  arma- 
ment for  the  force  was  acquired  in  this  manner.  In 
December,  1688,  it  was  reported  that  preparations  of  a 
hostile  nature  were  being  made  at  Trinity  College,  where- 
upon Captain  Talbot  was  sent  at  the  head  of  three  com- 
panies to  occupy  the  buildings,  to  search  for  arms,  and 
to  order  the  students  to  disperse  to  their  homes,  all  of 
which  was  done.  It  was  shortly  after  this  incident  that 
the  Marquis  de  Pointis  arrived  from  France,  as  already 
described,  for  the  purpose  of  reporting  to  Louis  on  the 
situation.  In  the  part  of  Ireland  that  he  visited  he  found 
the  people  unanimous  for  King  James,  and  signs  of  the 
levies  of  men  in  all  directions.  Tyrconnell  was  the  un- 
questioned lord  of  the  land,  more  especially  since  he  had 
got  rid  of  his  rival  Mount  joy  by  the  ruse  described  in  the 
last  chapter. 

Moreover,  many  of  the  Irish  troops  sent  to  England  in 
the  previous  years  were  filtering  back  to  Ireland,  and  these 
included  some  good  officers,  of  which  there  was  great 
lack,  like  Colonel  Thomas  Bourke,  Captain  Drummond, 
Owen  McCarthy,  John  Scot,  Gilbert  Hore,  William 
Carroll,  Garret  Parry,  and  Cornelius  Mahan.  It  was 
clear  to  Pointis,  as  it  is  to  any  impartial  student  of  the 
question,  that  Tyrconnell  had  got  together  the  nucleus 
of  an  army — one,  indeed,  with  many  defects  and  short- 
comings, but  still  one  in  which  the  raw  material,  the  brawn 
and  sinews,  was  first-rate — as  good  char  a  canon  as  could  be 
found  in  the  wide  world. 

Let  us  turn  from  Ireland  to  cite  what  was  being  written 
in  England  about  the  Irish  army,  and  we  will  select  the 

i  I 


anonymous  author  of  "  The  Popish  Champion,"  as  he 
was  one  of  Macaulay's  witnesses.  This  is  what  this  high 
authority  had  to  say  about  it  :  "  The  meaning  of  the  word 
courage  is  unknown  among  them,  and  for  their  officers 
the  best  of  them  had  rather  creep  into  a  scabbard  than 
draw  a  sword.  As  for  their  common  souldiers  what  are 
they  ?  but  the  very  excrement  of  common  prisons  with 
which  their  army  is  cumbered  not  manned.  ...  As  for 
their  general  it  is  the  same  Tyrconnell  who  is  famed  for 
a  coward  throughout  Europe."  Poor  scribbler !  He 
could  not  foresee  the  unwavering  advance  across  the  bullet- 
swept  plain  of  Marsaglia,  the  unbroken  ranks  at  Oberglau, 
or  the  tempestuous  onset  at  Almanza. 

What  is  clear,  then,  is  that  Tyrconnell,  on  his  own 
resources,  very  limited  as  they  were,  with  an  empty  treasury 
and  an  emptier  arsenal,  had  set  up  an  Irish  administration 
such  as  had  never  before  existed.  He  had  evoked  three  of 
the  strongest  and  noblest  sentiments  in  the  human  mind, 
religious  fervour,  loyalty  to  the  King  and  patriotic  en- 
thusiasm. How  was  this  done  ?  Tyrconnell,  by  some 
stroke  of  genius,  had  revived  the  hopes  of  a  downtrodden 
nation.  Why  did  the  Irish  respond  to  the  appeal  again 
to  champion  the  Stuarts  who  in  the  past  had  been  so 
ungrateful  to  Ireland  ?  The  answer  is  supplied  in  the 
anonymous  work  entitled,  "  A  Light  to  the  Blind,"  which 
forms  the  basis  of  Gilbert's  Jacobite  narrative. 

The  following  passage  has  not  lost  its  force  even  to-day  : — 
"  It  will  be  requisite  in  the  King  to  restore  unto  the 
Irish  Catholics  their  ancient  estates  which  the  Protestant 
usurpers  have  retained  in  possession  these  forty  years 
past ;  to  make  the  parliament  of  Ireland  absolute  in  enacting 
laws  without  being  obliged  to  send  beforehand  the  pre- 
pared bills  which  are  destined  to  pass  into  acts  by  the 
consent  of  both  houses  of  parliament  for  the  King's 
precedent  approbation  of  them,  it  being  sufficient  to  have 
the  King's  assent  given  unto  them  by  the  voice  of  his 
Deputy  after  the  said  bills  have  passed  both  the  houses ; 


to  make  the  judicature  of  the  nation  determine  causes 
without  an  appeal  to  the  tribunals  of  England  ;  to  give 
full  liberty  to  merchants  to  export  the  products  and 
manufactures  of  the  kingdom  and  to  import  foreign 
goods  without  an  obligation  of  touching  at  any  harbour 
of  England  ;  to  erect  studies  of  law  at  Dublin  ;  to  put  always 
the  viceroydom  into  the  hands  of  an  Irish  Catholic  ;  to 
set  up  a  silver  and  gold  mint  in  the  capital  city ;  to  confer 
the  principal  posts  of  state  and  war  on  the  Catholic  natives ; 
to  keep  standing  an  army  of  eight  thousand  Catholics ; 
to  train  a  Catholic  militia  ;  to  maintain  a  fleet  of  24  war- 
like ships  of  the  fourth  rate  ;  to  give  the  moiety  of  ecclesi- 
astical livings  to  the  Catholic  Bishops  and  parish  priests 
during  the  life  of  the  present  Protestant  bishops  and 
ministers,  and  after  the  death  of  these  to  confer  all  the 
said  livings  on  the  Roman  clergy ;  to  make  the  great  rivers 
of  the  kingdom  navigable  as  far  as  'tis  possible ;  to  render 
the  chief  ports  more  deep  and  thoroughly  tenable  against 
any  attacks  from  sea  ;  in  fine,  to  drain  the  multiplicity  of 
bogs  which  being  effected  will  support  a  vast  addition  of 

James's  programme  was  to  make  Ireland  the  base  and 
stepping-stone  for  his  recovery  of  the  Crown  of  England. 
The  Irish  programme  was  to  secure  Home  Rule.  Tyr- 
connell's  part  was  to  invest  both  projects  with  a  character 
of  feasibility.  When  the  year  1689  dawned  the  eyes  of 
both  England  and  France  were  fixed  on  Ireland. 

Chapter  17 


A1  the  beginning  of  April,  1689,  Evelyn  entered  in 
his  journal :  "  King  James  was  now  certainly 
in  Ireland  with  the  Marshal  d'Estrades,  whom 
he  made  a  Privy  Councillor,  and  who  caused 
the  King  to  remove  the  Protestant  Councillors,  some 
whereof  it  seems  had  continued  to  sit,  telling  him  that  the 
King  of  France,  his  master,  would  never  assist  him  if  he 
did  not  immediately  do  it,  by  which  it  is  apparent  how 
the  poor  prince  is  managed  by  the  French."  As  history 
this  entry  is  worthless,  there  was  not  an  iota  of  truth  in  it. 
Many  of  the  Councillors  were  Protestants  down  to  the 
Boyne,  and  some  even  till  the  Limerick  Convention.  It 
is  only  interesting  for  the  undue  prominence  it  gives  to 
d'Estrades,  not  a  Marshal  but  a  Marechal  de  Camp,  who 
had  been  sent  to  train  a  royal  body-guard  at  Dublin,  which 
only  got  its  horses  on  the  eve  of  the  Boyne  campaign. 

What  purported  to  be  the  description  of  King  James's 
arrival  in  Dublin  by  an  eye-witness,  a  forerunner  of  the 
special  correspondent,  was  hawked  about  the  streets  of 
London  as  a  broadside.  It  read  : — 

"On  Thursday  the  I4th  of  March  (O.S.)  the  late  King 
being  recovered  of  the  indisposition  caused  by  the  sea  set 
out  for  Dublin,  where  he  arrived  on  Saturday  following, 
being  the  i6th  of  the  month,  being  met  and  received  by 
the  Earl  of  Tyrconnell  ten  miles  from  Dublin,  who  con- 
ducted him  thither,  having  caused  all  the  forces  to  be  drawn 
up  at  the  entrance  into  the  town,  who  saluted  the  late 
King's  arrival  with  three  volleys  of  shot.  The  Lord 



Mayor,  Aldermen,  and  Common  Council  also  met  him 
in  their  formalities.  The  streets  were  lined  with  the 
Irish  Life  Guards  even  to  the  Castle  Gates,  where  the  late 
King  was  conducted  and  lodged.  The  Papist  inhabitants 
shouting,  the  soldiers  musquets  discharging,  the  Bells 
ringing,  and  at  night  Bonfires  in  all  parts  of  the  town. 

"  The  next  day  being  Sunday  there  was  singing  of  Te 
Deum,  and  Processions  for  joy  and  a  multitude  of  masses 
said  for  the  advancement  of  the  Catholic  Church." 

With  which  account  we  need  not  greatly  quarrel ; 
let  us  pass  to  more  authentic  records. 

On  the  fifth  day  (that  is  March  12  O.S.,  22  N.S.), 
after  sailing  from  Brest  the  squadron,  commanded  by 
Admiral  Cabaret,  cast  anchor  in  Kingsale  Bay.  King 
James  landed  that  day,  and  waited  while  horses  were  ob- 
tained for  the  journey  to  Cork.  This  was  no  easy  matter. 
No  preparations  had  been  made  for  the  royal  arrival 
and  horses  were  scarce.  Two  days  were  taken  in  getting 
ten  together,  and  thereupon  the  King,  the  Count  d'Avaux, 
and  the  more  important  members  of  his  suite  set  out  for 
Cork.  It  is  said  that  some  of  the  French  officers  not 
wishing  to  be  left  behind  seized  some  of  the  horses  in  the 
place,  whereupon  the  natives  took  offence  and  drove  their 
horses  and  ponies  into  the  hills.  The  story  rests  on  no  sure 
basis.  The  statement  is  better  authenticated  that  the 
people  themselves  made  a  free  gift  of  fifty  oxen  and  four 
hundred  sheep  to  the  French  sailors.  On  this  occasion 
and  throughout  the  long  struggle  the  best  relations  existed 
between  the  French  and  the  Irish,  and  no  credence  whatever 
need  be  given  to  the  stories  to  the  contrary. 

The  original  impressions  of  the  French  envoy  were  very 
much  to  the  point,  and  anticipated  with  almost  prophetic 
precision  the  causes  of  ultimate  failure.  In  his  very  first 
letter  to  Louvois,  written  from  Kingsale,  D'Avaux  wrote  : 
"  Our  chief  difficulty  will  be  the  irresolution  of  King 
James,  who  often  changes  his  mind  and  then  decides  not 
always  for  the  best."  An  instance  of  this  occurred  on  the 


journey.    One  of  the  officers  on  board  the  "  Faucon,"  the 

Chevalier  de  Murray  (Sir Murray),  was  discovered  to  be 

a  traitor,  and  King  James  agreed  that  he  should  be  sent 
back  to  France.  A  day  later  he  changed  his  mind  and 
allowed  him  to  remain  as  a  prisoner  in  Cork,  from  which 
place  he  eventually  made  his  escape  to  England.  Two 
Protestant  lords,  one  of  whom  was  Lord  Inchiquin  (who 
died  in  1693  as  Governor  of  Jamaica),  had  been  given 
leave  by  General  McCarthy  to  quit  the  country  before 
the  King's  landing,  and  on  hearing  of  this  both  D'Avaux  and 
Melfort  urged  the  King  to  countermand  it.  He  did  so,  but 
was  so  slow  in  his  decision  that  the  two  noble  lords  escaped 
from  Cork  in  an  English  frigate  that  happened  to  lie  there. 
The  true  significance  of  the  affair  lay  in  the  fact  that  they 
took  ^20,000  away  with  them,  and  that  money  was  a  very 
rare  commodity  in  Ireland.  McCarthy's  co-operation  in 
the  flight  of  Lord  Inchiquin  is  quite  intelligible,  for  his 
father  had  been  the  chief  commander  of  the  Irish  in  the 
Wars  of  the  Confederation. 

At  Cork  Lord  Tyrconnell  was  waiting  to  receive  the 
King,  and  he  then  and  there  delivered  an  account  of  the 
state  of  the  Kingdom  to  His  Majesty.  It  was  to  the 
following  effect,  as  expressed  in  the  King's  own  words : 
"  Lieutenant-General  Hamilton  had  been  sent  down 
with  two  thousand  five  hundred  men,  as  many  as  could  be 
spared  from  Dublin,  to  make  head  against  the  Rebels  in 
Ulster,  who  were  masters  of  all  that  Province  except 
Charlemont  and  Carrickfergus ;  that  in  Munster  the 
whole  province  was  totally  reduced  by  Lieutenant-General 
McCarthy ;  that  by  the  diligence  of  the  Catholic  nobility 
and  gentry  above  fifty  regiments  of  foot  and  several  troops 
of  horse  and  dragoons  had  been  raised  ;  that  he  had 
distributed  amongst  them  about  twenty  thousand  muskets, 
most  of  which,  however,  were  so  old  and  unserviceable 
that  not  above  one  thousand  of  the  firearms  were  found  to 
be  of  any  use  ;  that  the  Catholics  of  the  country  had  no 
arms,  whereas  the  Protestants  had  great  plenty  as  well  as 


the  best  horses  in  the  kingdom  ;  that  for  artillery  he  had 
but  eight  small  field  pieces  in  a  condition  to  march,  the  rest 
not  mounted,  no  stores  in  the  magazines,  little  powder  and 
ball,  all  the  officers  gone  for  England,  and  no  money  in 

This  was  not  a  very  cheering  statement  for  a  King 
in  search  of  a  lost  throne  to  receive  on  the  threshold  of  his 
enterprise,  but  it  showed  that  Lord  Tyrconnell  did  not 
disguise  the  truth  for  the  sake  of  making  his  sovereign 
believe  for  a  moment  that  he  had  done  more  than  he  had. 
James's  comment  on  the  report  was  :  "  there  is  a  great 
deal  of  goodwill  in  the  kingdom  for  me,  but  little  means 
to  execute  it."  He  was  also  displeased  at  some  of  the 
details  of  Tyrconnell's  administration,  but  he  succeeded  in 
hiding  his  displeasure,  and  raised  Tyrconnell  to  the  rank  of 
Duke.  For  instance,  he  disliked  the  conferring  of  such 
high  military  rank  as  that  of  Lieutenant-General  on  Hamil- 
ton and  McCarthy.  It  placed  him  in  a  difficulty  with  the 
French  officers,  who  had  to  be  raised  to  the  same  rank 
forthwith.  He  also  was  not  pleased  with  the  order  de- 
priving the  Acts  of  the  English  Parliament  of  force  in 
Ireland,  but  when  he  realised  that  he  must  bow  to  this 
popular  decision  among  the  Irish,  until  at  least  he  had 
recovered  England,  he  held  his  tongue. 

In  the  meanwhile  D'Avaux  was  keeping  his  eyes  open 
and  collecting  information.  On  the  road  from  Kingsale  to 
Cork  he  passed  a  battalion  of  good-looking  Irish  troops,  but 
armed  only  with  cudgels  (probably  shillelaghs).  When 
Louvois  read  the  lines  he  wrote  the  caustic  note  :  "  What 
will  these  fine  fellows  do  against  the  Prince  of  Orange's 
troops  armed  with  muskets  and  sabres  ?  "  At  Cork  D'Avaux 
saw  some  of  McCarthy's  troops  partially  armed  and 
consequently  making  a  better  show.  He  again  describes 
them  as  splendid  men,  the  shortest  foot-soldiers  being  over 
5ft.  10  in.,  and  the  pikemen  and  grenadiers  6ft.  I  in.  At 
Cork  also  D'Avaux  established  friendly  relations  with  William 
Talbot,  Tyrconnell's  nephew,  as  well  as  with  McCarthy, 


who  had  not  forgotten  "  la  belle  France."  D'Avaux 
whispers  in  his  ear  the  project  of  exchanging  Irish  and 
French  regiments,  and  that  McCarthy  is  the  man  to 
command  the  former.  McCarthy  is  delighted  at  the  idea, 
and  assures  the  French  envoy  that  he  will  not  say  a  word 
to  either  the  King  or  Melfort,  who  would  be  sure  to  oppose 
the  scheme. 

The  conferences  at  Cork  cover  several  days  while 
carriages  and  carts  and  horses  are  got  together  for  the 
King's  journey  to  Dublin.  It  is  also  necessary  to  provide 
the  means  for  conveying  there  the  French  money  and  some, 
at  least,  of  the  arms  and  ammunition.  During  this  interval 
James  shows  his  hand.  He  has  come  to  Ireland  not  to  rule 
an  Irish  kingdom,  but  to  make  his  way  to  Scotland  or 
England  for  the  recovery  of  his  English  Crown.  Tyrconnell 
takes  a  black  view  of  the  situation  in  England,  and  is  not 
afraid  to  declare  his  opinion  that  the  English  Crown  is 
lost  past  recall  for  many  years.  James  is  not  merely 
optimistic  himself,  but  he  likes  those  around  him  to  paint 
things  in  rosy  colours.  The  Secretary  Melfort  is  at  his  elbow 
to  echo  his  views  and  humour  them.  He,  too,  shares  at 
least  one  of  his  master's  opinions.  He  has  no  wish  to  stay 
in  Ireland.  Of  what  value  is  an  Irish  Crown  ?  Better 
'twere  to  have  none  at  all. 

And  so  the  war  of  factions  begins  before  the  Stuart 
King  has  been  a  week  on  Irish  soil.  Tyrconnell,  who  has 
done  everything  to  make  the  adventure  possible,  is  already 
cold-shouldered  as  an  Irish  enthusiast.  He  not  merely 
exposes  the  impossibility  of  a  descent  on  England,  but  he 
dwells  on  the  difficulty  of  taking  Londonderry.  Its 
garrison  is  well  armed,  the  best  troops  in  Ireland  are  there, 
and  they  are  more  closely  knit  together  than  the  Jacobite 
forces.  Nor  has  he  any  exaggerated  opinion  of  the  value 
of  his  own  army.  There  are  fifty  or  sixty  thousand  men 
on  the  paper  lists.  He  proposes  to  the  King  that  this 
force  should  be  reduced  to  25,000  foot,  3000  dragoons, 
and  2000  cavalry.  He  does  not  see  how  more  can  be  paid 


for  out  of  the  moderate  sum  of  money  brought  from 
France.  He  is  also  disappointed  with  the  assistance 
rendered  by  the  French  King.  He  is  told  that  more  is 
coming  with  the  second  squadron,  and  that  if  he  can  only 
hold  out  till  Christmas  French  troops  will  follow.  But  the 
need  is  at  the  moment,  and  he  wishes  they  had  come,  for 
with  Ulster  unsubdued  Ireland  is  only  half  won  for  the 
Jacobite  cause.  Tyrconnell  is  an  adviser  whom  James 
does  not  want  to  see  every  day,  or  for  long  audiences. 
He  prefers  the  honeyed  words  and  cerulean  dreams  of 

But  at  last  things  are  as  ready  for  leaving  Cork  as  they 
ever  will  be  in  a  country  where  D'Avaux  declares  it  "  takes 
three  days  to  do  what  is  done  in  one  elsewhere,"  and  King 
James  sets  out  on  his  journey  to  Dublin  in  Lord  Tyrcon- 
nell's  carriage  on  April  I  (N.S.).  On  the  3rd  he  enters 
the  capital  in  state  amid  popular  demonstrations  of  extreme 
joy.  The  French  ambassador,  asking  himself  the  reason 
of  this,  supplies  his  own  answer.  It  is  "  because  the  Irish 
hope  to  become  independent  of  England." 

Let  us  quote  the  description  of  the  journey  given  by  the 
author  of  "  A  Light  for  the  Blind." 

"  All  along  the  road  the  country  came  to  meet  his 
Majesty  with  staunch  loyalty,  profound  respect,  and  tender 
love  as  if  he  had  been  an  angel  from  heaven.  All  degrees 
of  people  and  of  both  sexes  were  of  the  number  old  and 
young ;  orations  of  welcome  being  made  unto  him  at  the 
entrance  of  each  considerable  town,  and  the  young  rural 
maids  weaving  of  dances  before  him  as  he  travelled.  In  a 
word,  from  Kingsale  to  Dublin  (which  is  above  a  hundred 
long  Irish  miles)  the  way  was  like  a  great  fair,  such  crowds 
poured  forth  from  their  habitations  to  wait  on  his  Majesty, 
so  that  he  could  not  but  take  comfort  amidst  his  misfortunes 
at  the  sight  of  such  excessive  fidelity  and  tenderness  for 
his  person  in  his  Catholic  people  of  Ireland.  This  was  a 
different  behaviour  from  that  which  his  Majesty  found 
from  his  subjects  in  England  after  the  Prince  of  Orange's 


arrival.  And  happy  would  the  King  be  if  he  could  have 
preserved  unto  himself  this  island  which  in  a  few  years 
would  make  a  prince  very  powerful  if  due  care  were  taken 
by  reason  that  it  is  fertile  in  soil,  notably  productive  of 
corn  and  cattle  of  all  sorts,  abounding  in  fish,  marine  and 
fluvial,  admirably  situated  for  a  general  trade,  and  endowed 
with  excellent  harbours  from  nature. 

"  But  to  go  on.  The  King  made  his  entry  into  Dublin 
on  March  24  (O.S.  April  3,  N.S.)  being  Palm  Sunday  that 
year.  He  was  received  by  the  Lord  Mayor,  Sir  Michael 
Creagh,  and  aldermen  in  their  formalities,  by  the  principals 
of  the  city,  and  by  the  garrison  under  arms,  while  the  bells 
rang,  the  cannons  roared,  and  the  music,  on  stages  erected 
in  the  streets,  harmoniously  played.  And  in  this  manner 
his  Majesty  was  lodged  in  the  royal  Castle  where  the  court 
of  the  kingdom  is  usually  kept." 

Ireland  had  not  seen  a  King  since  Richard  II,  and  it  was 
not  so  very  surprising  that  an  emotional  people  should 
under  the  circumstances  receive  the  last  of  the  Stuarts  to 
reign  "  like  an  angel  from  Heaven."  Unfortunately, 
James  was  not  worth  all  their  enthusiasm.  His  thoughts 
were  elsewhere.  Shortly  after  reaching  Dublin  letters 
from  Scotland  with  what  was  called  pleasing  news  were 
placed  in  his  hands,  and  he  was  all  for  setting  off  for  that 
country  forthwith.  D'Avaux  had  to  make  a  firm  stand 
and  tell  him  that  it  was  not  for  visionary  schemes  that  the 
King  of  France  had  taken  up  his  cause  and  rendered  him 
generous  aid,  but  to  accomplish  the  definite  task  of  securing 
the  whole  of  Ireland.  This  was  the  beginning  of  the 
breach  between  James  and  the  French  ambassador.  Writing 
long  afterwards  the  Duke  of  Berwick  records  in  his  Memoirs 
about  D'Avaux  that  "  the  King  was  dissatisfied  with  his 
haughty  and  disrespectful  manner  of  conducting  himself," 
but  he  is  constrained  to  add,  "  he  was,  however,  a  man  of 

One  of  the  first  steps  taken  by  the  King  on  his  arrival 
in  Dublin  was  the  formation  of  an  inner  and  supreme 


Council  of  three,  the  presence  of  the  sovereign  having 
nullified  Tyrconnell's  commission  as  Lord  Deputy.  The 
three  were  Tyrconnell,  Melfort,  and  D'Avaux  ;  and  as  the 
first  two  were  bitterly  opposed  to  each  other,  and  as  the 
feud  extended  also  to  their  ladies,  it  followed  that  for 
a  time  D'Avaux  controlled  the  Council.  This  suited 
neither  Melfort  nor  James,  so  Tyrconnell  was  given  a 
commission  nominally  to  carry  out  his  proposed  reduction 
of  the  army,  but  really  to  get  him  out  of  Dublin.  His 
absence  was  prolonged  by  illness,  which  at  one  time  seemed 
likely  to  prove  fatal. 

Before  Tyrconnell  left  the  capital,  however,  he  was  to 
take  a  leading  part  in  a  ceremony  that  claims  brief  notice. 
The  citizens  of  Dublin  have  been  feted  with  the  entry 
of  a  King.  They  are  now  to  be  provided  with  a  second 
show  in  the  reception  of  an  Ambassador.  Count  d'Avaux, 
the  Ambassador  of  His  Most  Christian  Majesty,  has  to 
present  his  letters  of  credence,  and  April  15  is  the  day 
fixed  for  the  ceremony.  The  Duke  of  Tyrconnell  calls 
for  him  at  his  residence,  and  drives  him  in  his  six-horse 
coach  to  the  Castle,  where  the  ambassador  is  received  by 
the  Duke  of  Powis,  Lord  Chamberlain,  and  conducted  to 
the  royal  presence.  The  formal  letters  are  presented  and 
the  usual  -formal  speeches  are  made,  James  thanking  his 
good  brother  Louis  for  the  assurance  of  his  friendship. 
The  street  to  the  Castle  is  lined  by  the  Lord  Mayor's 
Regiment  (commonly  called  Creagh's),  and  the  people 
are  delighted  with  a  show  such  as  had  never  been  seen  in 
Dublin  before. 

From  Jacobite  Ireland  the  scene  changes  to  Londonderry, 
where  a  small  but  determined  force  holds  on  to  the  last 
vestige  of  Protestant  ascendency  in  Ulster.  These  men  are 
formidable  by  the  spirit  which  animates  them.  The 
very  extremity  of  their  situation  has  inspired  them  with 
a  resolution  to  conquer  or  to  die,  and  while  Dublin  and 
southern  Ireland  are  absorbed  in  the  delight  of  welcoming 
a  King  and  seeing  unwonted  sights,  the  people  of  London- 


derry  are  busily  turning  the  place  into  some  imitation  of  a 

On  February  20,  1689,  the  people  of  Derry,  having 
got  rid  of  the  Catholics  in  the  garrison  and  town,  proclaimed 
the  Prince  of  Orange  as  King  William.  It  was  then  that 
Tyrconnell  sent  Richard  Hamilton  with  2500  men,  as 
mentioned  by  him  at  Cork,  to  drive  all  the  outlying 
Protestant  garrisons  into  Derry.  The  first  news  that 
James  received  on  entering  the  capital  was  that  Hamilton 
had  routed  the  enemy  at  Dromore.  Hamilton  reported 
that  he  had  driven  the  enemy  out  of  Dromore  and  across 
the  Bann  to  Coleraine,  where,  however,  they  were  so 
numerous  and  well-posted  that  he  must  await  reinforce- 
ments. James  at  once  sent  General  Pusignan  and  the  Duke 
of  Berwick  with  such  troops  as  could  be  gathered  to  his  aid, 
and  resolved  to  follow  himself  in  a  few  days  with  Roze 
and  others.  Both  Tyrconnell  and  D'Avaux  opposed  the 
King's  going,  but  he  would  not  listen.  It  was  at  that 
moment  that  Tyrconnell  was  ordered  to  Munster,  and 
D'Avaux,  seeing  that  there  was  no  use  in  staying  behind, 
and  that  his  presence  might  baffle  Melfort's  plan  of  getting 
the  King  over  to  Scotland,  accompanied  the  royal  party 
to  Armagh. 

At  this  stage  the  French  envoy  did  two  things  that  were 
not  unavailing.  He  wrote  to  Louvois  suggesting  that 
Louis  should  get  Queen  Mary  d'Este  to  write  to  her 
husband  begging  him  not  to  leave  Ireland  until  it  was 
completely  subdued.  He  also  called  attention  to  the 
fact  that  while  the  Irish  people  were  whole-hearted  in  their 
sympathy  for  France,  James  was  only  partly  of  the  same 
way  of  thinking  and  Melfort  not  at  all.  Louvois  records 
in  his  despatches  :  "  Us  n'entrent  pas  tout  a  fait  dans  les 
bons  sentiments  des  Irlandais  pour  la  France."  Insensibly 
French  policy  partook  more  and  more  of  a  character  to 
help  its  own  interests  before  those  of  James.  A  Franco- 
Irish  alliance  was  in  the  air,  and  D'Avaux  urged  Louis  to 
send  over  4000  French  infantry,  and  engaged  to  send  back 


in  exchange  six  or  seven  thousand  of  the  best  Irish  troops 
under  McCarthy,  who  was  entirely  devoted  to  him  and  to 
France.  The  proposal  to  send  Irish  troops  was  first  intro- 
duced to  pacify  Louvois  and  Vauban,  who  had  declared 
that  France  could  not  spare  a  man.  D'Avaux  therefore 
made  a  proposal  by  which  France  would  gain  two  or 
three  thousand  men,  and  he  described  them  as  physically 
among  the  finest  men  he  had  ever  seen.  After  a  little 
discipline  and  with  good  arms,  France  might  thus  find  the 
Irish  as  useful  as  the  Swiss.  This  proposal  gave  a  new 
complexion  to  the  question,  and  Louvois  agreed  to  sending 
over  four  regiments  at  the  first  favourable  chance.  But 
he  insisted  that  the  situation  in  the  Low  Countries  must 
first  be  improved.  The  campaign  of  1689  revealed  that 
the  pressure  there  was  much  diminished  by  the  absence 
of  William  and  his  best  troops  in  England. 

On  reaching  Derry  the  King  found  that  something  had 
been  accomplished  by  Hamilton  in  the  way  of  confining 
the  garrison  to  the  place  by  the  capture  of  Culmore  Fort 
at  the  entrance  to  the  channel  leading  to  Derry.  He  had 
also  erected  two  small  batteries  to  command  the  channel, 
and  had  cast  a  boom  across  the  passage  above  Culmore. 
The  garrison,  in  the  belief  that  their  communication  with 
the  outer  world  was  cut  off,  seemed  inclined  to  treat  for 
surrender,  and  declared  that  they  would  give  up  the  place 
on  terms,  provided  the  Jacobite  army  did  not  come  within 
a  stipulated  distance  of  the  walls,  and  also  that  they  were 
satisfied  that  King  James  was  really  in  Ireland.  The 
townspeople  were  allowed  to  send  two  delegates  into  the 
camp,  where  they  saw  the  King ;  but  they  also  saw  a  good 
deal  more,  and  when  they  returned  into  Derry  they  reported 
that  the  enemy  had  no  mortars  or  heavy  artillery.  It  was 
not  difficult,  therefore,  to  persuade  the  citizens  to  hold  out 
a  little  while,  and  the  negotiations  were  broken  off.  When 
wanted  an  excuse  can  be  found  for  almost  any  human 
action.  The  people  of  Derry  alleged  that  Roze  had  broken 
the  truce  by  coming  within  the  prescribed  limits.  Ap- 


parently  he  had.  He  had  marched  his  troops  up  a  hill  and 
down  again. 

James,  finding  that  he  was  not  to  enjoy  the  cheap 
triumph  of  seeing  Deny  surrender  at  his  presence,  decided 
to  return  to  Dublin,  taking  with  him  Roze  and  D'Avaux, 
and  entrusting  the  joint  command  to  Maumont  and  Hamil- 
ton. Major-General  Pusignan  was  also  left  in  charge  of  the 
infantry.  The  conduct  of  the  siege  was  distinctly  faulty, 
as  there  was  not  a  competent  engineer  in  the  investing 
force,  and  the  only  mortar  of  any  size  burst  after  a  few 
discharges.  It  was  said  at  the  time  that  Hamilton's 
military  knowledge  had  been  acquired  in  an  infantry  regi- 
ment, but  it  showed  extraordinary  neglect  for  any  soldier 
to  leave  the  camp  of  the  besieging  force  quite  open  and 
defenceless.  It  was  due  to  this  fact  that  the  besiegers 
suffered  a  heavy  and  irreparable  loss  in  the  early  days  of  the 

The  two  French  generals  were  watching  the  town  from 
Penniburn  Mill,  not  far  from  the  walls,  when  a  party  from 
the  place  seeing  their  opportunity  sallied  out  and  cut  them 
off.  The  French  officers  and  their  small  escort  made  a 
brave  resistance,  but  before  a  relieving  force  could  reach 
them  they  were  all  killed  or  mortally  wounded.  Both  the 
French  officers  were  men  of  ability  as  well  as  courage,  and 
what  is  more  rare,  they  were  very  popular  on  account  of 
their  affability.  Among  others  slain  was  at  least  one  Irish 
officer  of  experience  and  distinction,  Major  John  Taaffe, 
brother  of  the  Earl  of  Carlingford  and  Count  Taaffe. 
A  few  days  later  Captain  Maurice  Fitzgerald  was  killed  in 
another  sortie,  and  in  the  meantime  no  impression  whatever 
had  been  made  on  the  walls.  The  advantage  rested  with 
the  besieged.  Hamilton,  from  inclination  or  necessity,  con- 
fined his  attention  to  an  investment  in  the  hope  that  the 
garrison  might  be  starved  into  surrender. 

We  must  return  to  Dublin,  whither  D'Avaux  had 
preceded  James.  The  French  envoy  took  advantage  of  the 
King's  absence  to  reconcile  Tyrconnell  and  McCarthy,  on 


whom  the  title  of  Viscount  Mountcashell  had  just  been 
conferred.  James  arrived  some  days  later  for  the  purpose 
of  meeting  his  first  Parliament,  which  had  been  summoned 
for  May  7.  For  this  occasion  a  new  crown  had  been  made 
for  the  King's  use,  and  the  two  Houses  were  opened  with 
all  possible  formality.  The  House  of  Peers  numbered  only 
thirty-five,  but  in  compensation  the  counties  and  boroughs 
returned  not  fewer  than  200  representatives  to  the  Com- 
mons. On  the  very  day  that  the  Parliament  was  opened 
a  large  French  fleet  sailed  from  Brest  with  reinforcements 
and  supplies. 

The  commander  of  this  fleet  was  the  Count  de  Chateau 
Renaud,  one  of  France's  most  distinguished  seamen,  and 
he  had  under  his  orders  twenty-eight  ships  of  the  line, 
fifteen  frigates,  and  fifteen  fire-ships.  There  were  on 
board  the  more  or  less  trained  English,  Irish  and  Scottish 
troops  who  had  escaped  to  France  from  England.  These 
men  had  formed  the  bulk  of  James's  loyal  troops  under 
Lord  Dumbarton  and  Colonel  Scott  at  the  time  of  the 
Dutch  invasion.  It  is  declared  that  they  numbered  3000 
officers  and  men,  and  on  arrival  in  Ireland  they  were 
placed  under  the  orders  of  M.  Boisseleau,  governor  of 
Cork,  to  undergo  a  course  of  training  and  to  be  passed  into 
different  regiments.  One  regiment,  named  after  Boisseleau 
himself,  was  formed  at  once,  and  its  numerical  strength 
is  given  at  not  less  than  1600  men.  A  certain  number 
of  French  officers  of  higher  grade  arrived  about  the  same 
time  to  replace  Maumont  and  Pusignan.  Among  these  we 
may  name  the  Count  de  Gace,  Chevalier  d'Escots,  D'Hoc- 
quincourt,  D'Amanze  and  Saint  Pater.  These  came  by  their 
King's  orders,  but  M.  d'Anglure,  ex-captain  in  the  French 
guards,  came  to  serve  James  "  through  pure  devotion." 

Chateau  Renaud's  cruise  was  not  without  its  adventure. 
He  reached  Kingsale  Bay  without  coming  across  the 
English  fleet,  under  Admiral  Herbert,  which  was  cruising 
somewhere  in  the  Channel ;  but  while  he  was  engaged  in 
the  work  of  disembarkation  news  was  brought  that  the 


English  fleet  was  in  the  offing.  He  at  once  stopped  the 
work  of  landing  and  hastened  out  to  sea.  In  the  fight  that 
ensued  the  English  fleet  was  beaten  off  with  some  loss,  and 
had  to  make  for  Plymouth  to  refit.  The  news  of  this 
victory  reached  Dublin  while  Parliament  was  sitting,  and 
a  Te  Deum  was  sung  for  it  in  St.  Patrick's  Cathedral ;  but 
James  was  peevish  and  cross,  and  when  D'Avaux  informed 
him  that  the  English  ships  had  been  driven  off,  he  ex- 
claimed with  some  irritation,  "  C'est  bien  la  premiere 
fois  done."  The  French  ambassador  must  have  been  puzzled 
by  this  professional  spirit  which  asserted  itself  over  self- 
interest.  No  one  would  have  suffered  more  than  King 
James  from  an  English  victory  at  that  juncture,  and  yet 
he  was  sorry  to  learn  of  the  defeat  of  the  navy  in  which  he 
had  served.  He  even  imagined  all  kinds  of  excuses  for  it, 
and  fully  persuaded  himself,  at  least,  that  Admiral  Herbert 
had  sailed  away  out  of  loyalty  to  his  person.  It  is  not 
surprising  if  James  became  an  enigma  to  his  French  allies. 

But  although  he  disparaged  Chateau  Renaud's  success, 
he  was  quite  prepared  to  turn  it  to  account,  and  proposed 
that  he  should  sail  round  Ireland  and  attack  Derry  by 
Lough  Foyle.  The  French  admiral's  reply  was  that  his 
orders  were  to  return  without  delay  to  Brest ;  but  if  it 
had  been  possible  to  spare  the  fleet  out  of  French  waters 
for  any  length  of  time,  the  result  might  have  justified 
James's  strategical  insight.  A  little  later  French  frigates 
did  appear  on  the  north  coast  of  Ireland,  and  the  gallant 
Du  Quesne  navigated  lochs  and  estuaries  on  the  west 
coast  of  Scotland,  where  warships  had  never  been  seen 
since  the  Spanish  Armada. 

Before  returning  to  the  incidents  at  Derry,  where  by 
the  tacit  admission  of  both  sides  the  first  decisive  phase 
in  the  struggle  was  to  be  enacted,  we  may  describe  what 
happened  in  James's  first  Parliament.  Proof  was  furnished 
therein  that  the  King  and  his  legislative  Assembly  were  not 
in  accord,  and  that  when  he  gave  his  assent  to  measures 
that  could  not  be  avoided,  it  was  very  often  against  his  own 


wishes  and  convictions.  The  speech  made  by  the  King 
at  the  opening  of  Parliament  read  as  follows  : — 

"  The  exemplary  loyalty  which  this  nation  expressed  to 
me  at  a  time  when  others  of  my  subjects  so  undutifully 
misbehaved  themselves  to  me,  or  so  basely  betrayed  me,  and 
your  seconding  my  Deputy  as  you  did  in  his  bold  and 
resolute  asserting  my  Right  in  preserving  this  Kingdom 
for  me,  and  putting  it  in  a  posture  of  defence,  made  me 
resolve  to  come  to  you,  and  venture  my  life  with  you  in 
defence  of  your  liberties  and  my  own  Right,  and  to  my 
great  satisfaction  I  have  not  only  found  you  ready  to  serve 
me,  but  that  your  courage  has  equalled  your  zeal. 

"  I  have  always  been  for  libertie  of  conscience  and 
against  invading  any  man's  right  or  liberty,  having  still  in 
mind  the  Saying  of  the  holy  writ '  Do  as  you  would  be  done 
to,  for  this  is  the  law  and  the  Prophets.' 

"  It  was  this  liberty  of  conscience  I  gave  which  my  enemies 
both  at  home  and  abroad  dreaded  to  have  established  by 
law  in  all  my  Dominions,  and  made  them  set  themselves  up 
against  me,  though  for  different  reasons,  seeing  that  if  I 
had  once  settled  it  my  people  in  the  opinion  of  the  one 
would  have  been  too  happy,  and,  in  the  opinion  of  the  other, 
too  great. 

"  This  argument  was  made  use  of  to  persuade  their  own 
people  to  join  with  them,  and  so  many  of  my  subjects  to  use 
me  as  they  had  done,  but  nothing  shall  ever  persuade  me  to 
change  my  mind  as  to  that ;  wheresoever  I  am  Master 
I  design,  God  willing,  to  establish  it  by  law,  and  have  no 
other  text  or  distinction  but  that  of  Loyalty.  I  expect 
your  concurrence  in  so  Christian  a  work,  and  in  making 
laws  against  profaneness  and  against  all  sorts  of  debauchery. 

"  I  shall  most  readily  consent  to  the  making  such  laws 
as  may  be  for  the  good  of  the  Nation,  the  improvement 
of  trade,  and  relieving  such  as  have  been  injured  in  the 
late  Act  of  Settlement,  as  far  forth  as  may  be  consistent 
with  reason,  justice  and  the  public  good  of  my  people. 

"  And  as  I  shall  do  my  part  to  make  you  happy  and 


rich,  I  make  no  doubt  of  your  assistance  by  enabling  me 
to  oppose  the  unjust  designs  of  my  enemies,  and  to  make 
this  Nation  flourish. 

"  And  to  encourage  you  the  more  to  it,  you  know  with 
how  great  generosity  and  kindness  the  Most  Christian 
King  gave  a  sure  retreat  to  the  Queen,  my  Son  and 
myself,  when  we  were  forced  out  of  England  and  came  to 
seek  protection  in  his  Kingdom,  how  he  embraced  my 
interest,  and  gave  me  such  supplies  of  all  sorts  as  enabled 
me  to  come  to  you,  which  without  his  obliging  assistance  I 
could  not  have  done  ;  this  he  did  at  a  time  he  had  so  many 
and  so  considerable  enemies  to  deal  with,  and  you  see  still 
continues  so  to  do. 

"  I  shall  conclude  as  I  have  begun,  and  assure  you  I  am  as 
sensible  as  you  can  desire  of  the  signal  loyalty  you  have 
expressed  to  me,  and  shall  make  it  my  chief  study  as  it 
has  always  been  to  make  you  and  all  my  subjects  happy." 

This  speech  would  have  been  an  excellent  one  before 
an  English  Parliament,  but  in  Dublin  in  the  year  1689  it 
was  out  of  place  and  incomprehensible  to  the  mass  of  the 
people.  The  exhortation  that  all  men  should  be  free  to 
follow  their  conscience  was  not  to  the  liking  of  the  Irish 
Catholics.  It  was  not  followed  in  England  or  Scotland,  as 
James's  own  experience  showed,  for  he  had  been  deprived 
of  his  throne  for  exercising  the  very  liberty  that  he  so 
much  vaunted.  If  there  were  no  other  evidence,  this 
alone  would  convict  James  of  being  no  statesman.  The 
Irish  members  wanted  to  hear  that  all  their  old  estates  were 
coming  back  to  them,  and  instead  the  King  gave  them  a 
sermon  on  religious  tolerance,  which  was  not  the  general 
practice  among  either  Catholics  or  Protestants  until  two 
centuries  later. 

The  following  passage,  taken  from  "  A  Light  for  the 
Blind,"  shows  very  clearly  what  was  in  the  minds  of  the 
Irish  Catholics  : — 

"  No  experience  will  make  him  behave  himself  towards 
those  traitors  (Protestants)  as  he  should  do.  He  spoiled 


his  business  in  Ireland  by  his  own  great  indulgence  to- 
wards them.  He  was  infatuated  with  this  rotten  principle 
—provoke  not  your  Protestant  subjects — the  which  hin- 
dered His  Majesty  from  drawing  troops  sooner  out  of 
Ireland  into  England  for  the  security  of  his  person  and 
government ;  from  making  up  a  Catholic  army  in  England  ; 
from  accepting  those  forces  the  Most  Christian  King  had 
offered  him.  It  was  this  false  politic  which  prevailed 
with  him  to  declare  that  he  had  no  alliance  with  France ; 
that  he  did  not  believe  the  Dutch  had  any  design  on  him 
till  they  were  almost  landed  in  England.  In  fine  'twas  this 
deceitful  suggestion  that  ruined  him  entirely  by  not  mis- 
trusting in  time  the  loyalty  of  those  heretics,  as  it  was 
that  which  made  King  Charles  the  Second  commit  such 
horrid  injustices  in  leaving  the  estates  of  his  faithful 
Irish  in  the  usurped  possession  of  known  rebels  both  to 
himself  and  to  his  royal  father  Charles  the  First." 

The  observant  D'Avaux  had  read  the  situation  far 
more  correctly  when  he  wrote,  "  les  Irlandais  sont  ennemis 
irreconciliables  des  Anglais  en  sorte  que  si  on  leur  lachait 
la  main  ils  egorgeraient  en  peu  de  temps  ceux  qui  sont  icy." 

Having  listened  to  the  King's  homily,  the  Irish  Parlia- 
ment proceeded  to  conduct  its  business  in  its  own  way. 
A  Bill  was  brought  in  to  repeal  the  Act  of  Settlement. 
In  the  House  of  Lords  the  Bishop  of  Meath  made  a  set 
speech  against  it,  on  the  ground  that  it  would  be  unjust 
to  the  actual  holders  who  were,  with  the  exception  of 
five  or  six  of  the  greatest  or  most  fortunate  peers — then 
in  England  with  the  Prince  of  Orange,  the  second  Duke 
of  Ormonde  at  their  head — descendants  of  the  Crom- 
wellian  settlers.  The  Lord  Chief  Justice  Keating  backed 
up  the  Bishop's  speech  with  an  address  to  the  King,  repre- 
senting that  the  repeal  would  be  "  the  ruin  of  trade  and 
future  improvements."  But  these  efforts  by  the  small 
Protestant  faction  to  maintain  the  Act  of  Settlement 
were  quite  futile.  The  two  Houses  passed  by  a  practically 
unanimous  vote  the  law  abrogating  it,  so  that  all  their  old 


estates  were  to  be  repossessed  by  their  original  Catholic 
proprietors  ousted  from  them  in  1650-52.  The  decision 
of  the  Legislature  was  absolute,  and  James  appended  his 
signature  because  he  was  told  that  if  he  did  not  he  might 
just  as  well  quit  the  country  at  once.  He  signed,  but  he 
entered  in  his  private  diary  a  note  which  has  passed  into 
history  to  the  effect  that  "  it  had  without  doubt  been 
more  generous  in  the  Irish  not  to  have  pressed  so  hard 
upon  their  Prince  when  he  lay  so  much  at  their  mercy, 
and  more  prudent  not  to  have  grasped  at  regaining  all 
before  they  were  sure  of  keeping  what  they  already  pos- 

The  Irish  Parliament  was  in  session  from  May  7  until 
July  20,  and  during  that  time  it  passed  a  very  generous 
vote  of  .£20,000  per  month  for  the  King's  service ;  but, 
unfortunately,  this  vote  was  meaningless,  because  there 
was  no  money  in  the  treasury  and  no  trade  or  commerce 
on  which  to  raise  taxes  or  customs.  The  small  sum  pro- 
vided by  the  King  of  France  went  but  a  very  little  way, 
and  the  people,  not  liking  the  look  of  the  small  French 
silver  coins,  a  royal  order  had  to  be  issued  showing  the 
rate  at  which  they  were  to  be  accepted.  But  the  evil 
was  far  greater  than  uncertainty  as  to  the  value  of  this 
money.  There  was  not  enough  of  it  or  of  any  other. 
On  June  18  another  order  was  issued  decreeing  that  a 
new  coin  of  brass  or  copper  was  to  pass  current  as  the 
equivalent  of  sixpence.  As  time  went  on  recourse  to 
base  money  became  more  frequent  and  on  a  larger  scale, 
but  it  was  remarkable  in  the  first  instance  as  coinciding 
with  the  Parliament's  generous  paper  subsidy. 

Notwithstanding  the  adoption  of  a  meaningless  vote 
about  liberty  of  conscience,  and  James's  repeated  declara- 
tion that  he  meant  to  treat  the  Protestants  by  an  equal 
law  with  the  Catholics,  he  was  forced  by  his  advisers, 
despite  the  support  of  Lord  Melfort,  to  recognise  the  facts 
of  the  situation.  He  might  call  the  Protestants  his  subjects 
if  it  pleased  him,  but  that  did  not  alter  the  fact  that  they 


were  his  enemies,  and  that  they  were  treating  his  forces 
very  badly  in  the  north.  On  July  15  he  had  to  sign 
the  order  calling  upon  the  Protestants,  of  whom  there 
were  a  good  many  in  Dublin,  to  surrender  their  arms 
and  horses  within  fifteen  days.  Those  Protestants  in 
Dublin  who  were  not  citizens  were  ordered  to  leave 
within  twenty-four  hours,  and  thus  James  was  com- 
pelled to  do  at  last  what  Tyrconnell  and  D'Avaux  had 
been  urging  him  to  do  ever  since  his  arrival.  During 
all  these  months,  too,  James  absolutely  refused  to  make  a 
declaration  of  war  against  England.  The  English  were 
his  dear  subjects ;  it  was  only  the  Prince  of  Orange,  his 
nephew  and  son-in-law,  who  was  "  his  unnatural  enemy  "  ; 
but  the  consequence  of  this  was  that  he  could  not  grant 
letters  of  marque  to  Brest  privateers  to  prey  on  English 
commerce.  Neither  could  he  fit  out  Irish  privateers  for 
the  same  purpose.  To  the  French  his  policy  seemed 
neither  one  thing  nor  the  other,  a  mixture  of  senility 
and  impracticability.  As  a  matter  of  historical  justice 
it  must  be  mentioned  that  James  wanted  something 
that  was  not  in  the  minds  of  either  his  French  or  his 
Irish  advisers.  He  wished  to  get  back  to  Whitehall, 
and  he  knew  that  to  employ  Irish  methods  would  be  to 
blast  his  chances  of  doing  so  for  ever.  Probably  every 
day  of  his  residence  in  Ireland  he  regretted  that  his  obliga- 
tions to  the  French  King  had  deprived  him  of  the  liberty 
to  refuse  to  go  to  that  country.  His  changing  policy, 
his  inability  to  adapt  himself  to  his  surroundings,  prove, 
not  that  he  was  the  fool  that  D'Avaux  and  Louvois  took 
him  for,  but  that  he  was  in  a  false  position. 

Having  referred  to  the  delicate  question  of  the  proper 
course  for  James  to  have  pursued  towards  the  Protestants 
in  Ireland,  it  will  be  appropriate  at  this  stage  to  deal 
with  and  demolish  the  monstrous  charge  Macaulay  brings 
against  D'Avaux  of  having  counselled  James  to  authorise 
a  massacre  of  the  Protestants.  His  words  are  : — 

"  With  this  view  he  (D'Avaux)  coolly  submitted  to  the 

ioo  THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

King  a  proposition  of  almost  incredible  atrocity.  There 
must  be  a  St.  Bartholomew.  A  pretext  would  easily  be 
found.  .  .  .  Any  disturbance,  wherever  it  might  take 
place,  would  furnish  an  excuse  for  a  general  massacre 
of  the  Protestants  of  Leinster,  Munster,  and  Connaught " 
("  History  of  England,"  Vol.  V,  p.  39). 

This  charge  is  a  figment  of  Macaulayan  imagination. 
To  support  it,  the  not  over-scrupulous  historian  had  to 
invent  a  misquotation.  Let  us  examine  the  evidence. 

Macaulay  gives  as  his  authority  an  extract  from  the 
letter  written  by  D'Avaux  to  Louis  XIV,  dated  August  10, 
1689  (N.S.),  and  he  quotes  as  follows  : — 

"  J'estois  d'avis  qu'apres  que  la  descente  seroit  faite,  si 
1'on  apprenoit  que  des  Protestants  se  fussent  soulevez  en 
quelques  endroits  du  royaume  on  fit  main  basse  sur  tous 

D'Avaux  never  wrote  the  words  alleged.  The  following 
is  the  correct  quotation  of  the  passage  : — 

"  J'estois  d'avis  qu'apres  que  la  descente  seroit  faite  si 
1'on  aprenoit  que  des  Protestants  se  fussent  soulevez  en 
quelque  endroit  du  royaume  on  s'asseurast  generalement 
de  tous  les  autres,  puisqu'  on  ne  pouvoit  douter  que  ceux 
qui  ne  s'estoient  pas  encore  declarez  n'attendoient  que 
1'occasion  favorable  pour  le  faire." 

What  D'Avaux  proposed,  then,  was  to  "  make  sure  of  " 
or  "  to  arrest  "  {/assurer}  the  Protestants.  He  must  be 
judged  by  what  he  wrote,  not  by  what  Macaulay  invented, 
and  no  twisting  of  words  can  make  "  s'asseurast "  mean 
anything  more  than  "  secure  "  or  "  arrest." 

It  is  quite  true  that  in  Louis's  reply,  dated  September  6, 
disapproving  of  this  counsel,  on  the  ground  that  the 
Protestants  could  carry  out  more  effective  reprisals,  Louis 
uses  the  words  "  de  faire  main  basse"  but  this  remark  will 
be  explained  later  on.  Again  we  must  repeat  D'Avaux  is 
to  be  judged  on  his  own  merits  or  demerits.  As  Macaulay 
could  have  satisfied  himself  by  carefully  perusing  D'Avaux's 
despatches,  the  French  ambassador  advocated  the  arrest 


of  leading  Protestants,  their  being  disarmed,  and  the 
prevention  of  their  sending  money  out  of  the  country ; 
but  from  first  to  last  there  is  not  a  word  suggesting  their 
being  killed,  and  losing  their  lives  by  being  massacred. 
It  is  most  extraordinary  that  Macaulay  should  have  made 
so  terrible  a  charge,  and  that  his  statement  should  have 
been  allowed  to  pass  unchallenged  and  unrefuted  for  half 
a  century. 

The  essential  facts  on  the  point  are  those  cited ;  but, 
lest  it  might  be  said  that  the  remark  attributed  by  D'Avaux 
to  James  himself,  in  his  letter  of  August  14,  bears  out 
Macaulay's  assertion,  we  must  examine  that  point  also. 
Let  us  premise,  however,  that  D'Avaux  can  only  be  held 
responsible  for  what  he  said  himself,  and  not  for  a  hasty 
ejaculation  or  conclusion  by  the  King.  In  his  letters  of 
August  4  and  6  to  Louis,  D'Avaux  elaborates  what  he 
means  by  "  s'asseurer  "  of  the  Protestants.  He  proposes 
that  they  should  be  disarmed,  and  that  they  should  be 
dispersed  in  small  parties  throughout  the  prisons  of  different 
towns.  His  fear,  as  he  states  many  times,  was  that  in 
several  towns,  notably  Dublin  and  Galway,  the  Protestants 
would  be  more  than  a  match  for  the  Catholics.  At  the 
same  time  he  had  pressed  upon  James  the  counsel  that,  in 
view  of  the  imminent  descent  of  Schomberg,  the  whole 
of  Ulster  outside  Londonderry,  Enniskillen,  and  the  other 
places  held  by  the  Protestants  should  be  laid  bare,  so  that 
William's  general  would  be  unable  to  draw  any  supplies 
therefrom.  He  would  have  driven  off  the  cattle,  burnt  the 
villages  and  crops,  and  generally  laid  waste  the  province. 
But  James  would  not  listen  to  this  proposal,  and  declared 
he  "  would  not  pillage  his  own  subjects."  All  that  need 
be  said  on  this  proposal  of  D'Avaux's  is  that  it  was  in 
accordance  with  the  usages  of  war,  and  that  its  execution 
would  have  embarrassed  Schomberg. 

In  his  letter  of  August  14  D'Avaux  describes  the  closing 
scene  in  the  episode.  He  brings  up  again  in  an  audience 
with  the  King  the  question  of  the  measures  he  had  pre- 

102          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

viously  proposed  to  be  taken  against  the  Protestants, 
and  he  asks  James  if  he  has  come  to  any  decision  about 
his  proposals.  Thereupon  James  bursts  out  with  the 
remark  that  he  will  be  no  party  to  "  cutting  his  subjects' 
throats  "  (egorger  ses  sujets).  James  had,  as  we  have  seen, 
a  habit  of  blurting  out  his  inner  thoughts,  and  it  is  a  pity 
from  the  historical  point  of  view  that  D'Avaux  did  not 
reply,  "  But  I  have  never  proposed  that  you  should  cut 
their  throats."  We  must,  however,  remember  the  strict 
etiquette  of  Court  life  in  those  days.  As  a  courtier  D'Avaux 
could  not  meet  the  King's  outburst  with  a  flat  contra- 
diction. He  could  only  turn  the  allegation  aside  by 
saying,  "  What  I  proposed  was  after  all  not  so  very  in- 
human." His  actual  reply  really  signified  the  same  thing. 
It  reads  : — 

"  Je  lui  repartis  que  je  ne  lui  proposois  rien  de  fort  in- 
humain,  que  je  ne  pretendois  pas  qu'on  fist  aucun  mal  aux 
Protestants  qu'apres  qu'on  les  verroit  se  soulever,  et  que 
s'il  en  usait  autrement  la  pitie  qu'il  aurait  pour  eux  serait 
un  cruaute  pour  les  Catholiques." 

Which  may  be  translated  : — 

"  I  answered  that  I  proposed  to  him  nothing  very  in- 
human, that  I  did  not  suggest  any  harm  being  done  the 
Protestants  until  after  they  had  risen  in  insurrection,  and 
that  if  he  treated  them  otherwise  the  pity  shown  to  them 
by  the  King  would  be  an  act  of  cruelty  to  the  Catholics." 

What  he  had  proposed,  disarmament  and  imprisonment, 
is  on  record,  but  it  suited  Macaulay  to  ignore  it,  and  to 
represent  that  cutting  people's  throats  was,  in  D'Avaux's 
opinion,  "rien  de  fort  inbumain"  What  D'Avaux  meant 
was  clearly  that  disarmament  and  imprisonment  were 
"  nothing  very  inhuman." 

But  it  may  be  said  that  Louis's  own  use  of  the  phrase 
"  de  faire  main  basse"  in  his  letter  of  September  6  shows 
that  he  knew  what  was  in  D'Avaux's  mind.  It  does 
nothing  of  the  kind.  It  was  based  on  James's  communi- 
cation alleging  that  D'Avaux  had  proposed  a  massacre 


of  the  Protestants,  and  that  he  wished  the  ambassador 
to  be  restrained.  But  James's  misinterpretation  of 
D'Avaux's  advice  does  not  justify  Macaulay's  assumption. 
D'Avaux  must  be  judged  by  his  own  words  in  the  letters 
of  August  4,  6,  and  10. 

At  the  same  time  James  may  be  pardoned,  as  he  lived 
in  constant  dread  of  the  Irish  Catholics  falling  upon  and 
massacring  the  Protestants  in  Dublin.  The  memory  of 
what  had  happened  fifty  years  before  was  ever  in  his 
mind,  and  he  knew  that  if  such  a  calamity  occurred  he 
would  be  held  responsible,  and  that  his  chances  in  England 
would  be  destroyed  for  ever.  There  is  excuse  for  James 
in  magnifying  "  s'asseurast "  into  "  egorger"  There  is 
none  for  Macaulay  in  quoting  "faire  main  basse "  for 
"  s* asseurast" 

We  may  return  to  Londonderry,  where  Hamilton, 
deprived  of  the  assistance  of  French  officers,  contented 
himself  with  watching  the  place.  The  offensive  was 
taken  by  the  besieged,  who  seized  a  mill  on  the  north  side 
of  the  town  and  protected  the  road  to  it  with  a  palisade 
twelve  feet  high.  While  they  were  doing  this  Hamilton 
did  not  interfere  with  them,  but  when  he  found  himself 
galled  by  the  fire  from  this  new  post  he  proceeded  to 
attack  it.  He  had  no  artillery  to  cover  the  assault,  for 
his  cannon  were  at  Culmore  and  in  the  batteries  on  the 
river.  He  trusted  to  his  infantry  capturing  the  palisade 
at  a  single  dash,  and  it  was  not  very  surprising,  considering 
that  they  rested  on  no  sure  foundation,  that  these  hopes 
should  be  disappointed.  In  this  assault,  which  occurred 
on  May  16,  he  lost  one  hundred  and  fifty  killed,  includ- 
ing some  good  officers.  We  may  name  among  them 
Brigadier  Ramsay,  Lieutenant-Colonel  William  Talbot,  of 
Templeoge,  and  Viscount  Netterville,  of  Douth.  Sir 
Garret  Aylmer  and  Captain  John  Browne,  of  Neal  (Mayo), 
were  taken  prisoners,  and  the  repulse  was  rendered  all 
the  more  aggravating  by  the  knowledge  that  the  enemy 
had  suffered  very  little  loss. 

104          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Undeterred  by  this  reverse,  Hamilton  decided  to  re- 
peat the  attack  in  the  same  manner,  but  in  somewhat 
larger  force.  Unfortunately,  the  movements  of  his 
troops  were  clearly  visible  from  the  town,  and  gave  full 
notice  of  what  was  coming,  and  the  garrison  made  suit- 
able preparations  to  meet  the  attack.  The  incident  may 
be  described  in  the  words  of  Plunkett's  narrative  slightly 
epitomised  : — 

"  Hamilton  draws  out  the  greatest  part  of  the  foot  and 
orders  them  to  attack  the  line.  A  detachment  out  of  all 
the  grenadiers  of  the  army  marched  a  little  before  under 
the  leading  of  Captain  John  Plunkett,  the  youngest  son  of 
Mr.  Nicholas  Plunkett  of  Dunsoghly  (county  Dublin). 
After  them  there  came  the  line  of  Colonels  with  their 
pikes  in  hand  at  the  head  of  the  infantry.  On  the  right 
marched  a  detachment  of  horse  under  the  conduct  of 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Edmund  Butler,  eldest  son  of  Viscount 
Mountgarret.  In  their  march  they  were  exposed  to  the 
cannon  of  the  windmill ;  they  also  received  a  shower 
of  ball  from  the  entrenchment  in  long  fowling  pieces 
without  seeing  an  enemy.  Captain  Plunkett  received 
at  the  first  fire  his  mortal  wound,  and  being  carried  off 
to  his  tent  died  an  hour  later.  Notwithstanding  their 
losses  the  loyal  party  went  on  boldly  and  attempted  to 
mount  the  entrenchment,  but  their  endeavours  proved 
all  in  vain,  by  reason  the  work  was  so  high  that  they  had 
need  of  ladders  to  carry  it  suddenly.  At  the  same  time 
the  party  of  horse  on  the  right  went  to  attack  the  end  of 
the  entrenchment  by  the  river  where  it  was  somewhat 
lower.  But  on  coming  near  they  found  it  not  practicable 
for  cavalry.  However,  Colonel  Edmund  Butler,  being 
extraordinarily  well  mounted,  resolved  to  show  the  way 
if  possible.  At  which  clapping  spurs  to  his  charger  he 
flies  over,  but  was  immediately  taken  prisoner.  Captain 
Purcell  of  Thurles  (Tipperary)  followed,  but  his  horse 
was  killed,  and  he  leaped  back  in  his  armour  and  so  saved 
himself.  An  old  gentleman,  Edward  Butler  of  Tinnahinch 


(Carlow),  gained  the  ditch,  but  he  and  his  horse  were 
both  slain.  The  rest  of  the  troopers  retired  having  lost 
some  of  their  men.  Upon  the  conclusion  the  Irish  were 
forced  to  retreat  with  the  loss  of  at  least  two  hundred  men 
killed  without  doing  any  damage  to  the  defendants.  Among 
the  slain  in  addition  to  those  named  were  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Roger  Farrell,  Captain  Barnewal  of  Archerstown 
(Meath),  Captain  Patrick  Barnewal  of  Kilbrue,  Captain 
Richard  Grace,  Captain  Richard  Fleming,  brother  of 
Sir  John  of  Staholmock,  and  Captain  William  Talbot  of 

These  successive  repulses  shook  the  confidence  of 
Hamilton's  soldiers  in  their  leader,  and  the  King's  con- 
fidence in  Hamilton,  who  was  freely  criticised  on  all 
sides.  Louvois  said  it  was  absolute  folly  to  entrust  an 
important  siege  to  an  officer  whose  only  training  had  been 
in  a  foot  regiment,  adding,  a  little  spitefully,  "  and  not 
very  distinguished  in  that."  James,  thoroughly  alarmed 
by  the  holding  out  of  Derry,  decided  to  send  General 
de  Roze,  on  whom  he  conferred  the  rank  of  Marshal- 
General,  to  conduct  the  siege  in  person,  and  he  moved 
northwards  as  many  troops  as  possible,  including  some  of 
those  which  had  arrived  with  Chateau  Renaud.  Of  the 
twenty  French  officers  who  had  come  with  that  commander 
ten  were  at  once  sent  off  to  Derry.  Of  these  two,  the 
Chevalier  de  Tangy  and  Lieutenant  Dastier,  were  en- 
gineers, and  the  first  of  any  competence  to  look  at  the 
walls  of  Derry.  Pointis,  the  artillerist,  also  went  there 
about  the  same  time,  but  he  had  no  artillery,  and  as  he 
was  trying  to  make  some  use  of  one  of  Hamilton's  cannon 
he  was  shot  in  the  leg,  rendered  helpless  for  many  months, 
and  at  one  moment  brought  by  the  incompetence  or 
neglect  of  his  surgeons  to  death's  door.  This  misfortune 
did  not  stand  alone.  Tangy,  an  admittedly  competent 
engineer  officer,  was  challenged  by  another  French  officer, 
named  Coulanges,  described  by  D'Avaux  as  incapable 
and  mad,  and  in  the  ensuing  duel  was  killed.  Dastier 

106          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

was  too  young  and  inexperienced  to  take  his  place,  and 
Masse,  the  artillerist  who  followed  Pointis,  was  killed  by 
a  shot  from  the  town.  Clearly,  as  the  French  would  say, 
James  is  to  have  no  chance. 

Up  to  this  phase  in  the  question  General  Roze,  the 
officer  lent  by  Louis  to  James  as  generalissimo,  has  done 
nothing  beyond  riding  in  the  King's  company  on  that 
first  journey  to  Londonderry.  He  is  a  cavalry  officer  not 
less  ignorant  of  sieges  than  the  infantry  officer  Hamilton. 
Some  curiosity  must  have  been  felt  as  to  how  he  would 
fare.  The  curiosity  must  have  been  greater  among  his 
Irish  colleagues,  because  his  criticism  of  the  Irish  forces 
had  been  free  and  scornful. 

Most  of  the  officers,  Irish  as  well  as  French,  had  de- 
plored the  lack  of  adequate  supplies  in  equipping  the 
troops  for  the  field,  and  the  badness  of  the  weapons  sup- 
plied to  them.  For  instance,  the  Walter  Butler  regiment, 
so  named  after  its  Colonel,  had  no  swords  and  no  powder 
or  ball.  The  Bagenal  regiment  had  swords,  but  no  bullets. 
Another  regiment  had  swords,  but  of  several  lengths, 
and  no  belts  to  attach  them  to,  consequently  they  carried 
them  in  their  hands  !  A  French  report  on  the  arms  of 
the  Lord  Mayor's  regiment  (Creagh's)  was  to  the  effect 
that  for  one  good  musket  ten  were  bad.  Here  also  the 
swords  were  bad  and  of  unequal  lengths.  But  Roze, 
while  dwelling  on  these  defects  of  armament,  did  not 
confine  himself  to  that  point.  He  attacked  the  Irish 
officers,  alleging  that  commissions  had  been  recklessly 
given  to  tradespeople  who  knew  nothing  about  the 
military  profession,  that  the  only  officers  who  were  of  any 
good  were  those  who  had  served  in  continental  and  the 
English  armies.  Tyrconnell  did  not  deny  that  there  was 
some  truth  in  this  statement,  for  one  of  the  objects  of 
his  provincial  tour  had  been  to  cancel  commissions. 

But  the  shortcomings  of  the  officers  was  not  the  only 
defect  in  the  Irish  army.  There  were  no  artisans,  no 
smiths,  not  even  a  baker.  The  art  of  making  bread  seems 


to  have  been  unknown  in  Ireland,  and  the  most  urgent 
of  the  many  urgent  requests  sent  to  France  was  one  for 
several  bakers.  There  was  also  no  salt  in  Ireland,  and 
the  want  of  these  simple  necessaries  reveals  the  deplorable 
state  of  the  country.  The  one  thing  in  which  the  country 
was  rich  was  live  stock,  and  the  French  commander  re- 
cords with  some  astonishment  that  every  Irish  soldier 
was  by  trade  a  butcher.  Finally,  in  the  list  of  Irish  defects 
Roze  reports  that  the  beer  was  brewed  so  badly  that  it 
could  not  be  drunk  without  producing  dysentery,  from 
which  one  man  died  out  of  ten.  Nothing,  he  adds,  but 
his  duty  to  King  Louis  could  keep  him  in  such  a  country, 
and  it  was  in  this  frame  of  mind  that  the  General-Marshal 
proceeded  to  take  charge  of  the  Siege  of  Derry. 

Roze  having  formed  such  a  poor  opinion  of  the  forces 
at  his  disposal,  was  fully  satisfied  that  the  only  way  to 
secure  Derry  was  to  starve  out  the  garrison,  who  were 
known  by  this  time  to  be  in  straits,  but  he  had  thought  out 
a  cruel  way  of  expediting  the  end.  He  gave  orders  that 
all  the  Protestants  of  the  Province  of  Ulster — men,  women, 
and  children — were  to  be  herded  together  and  driven  to 
the  walls  of  Derry,  so  that  the  garrison  might  take  pity 
on  them  and  admit  them,  with  the  consequence  that  their 
supplies  of  food  might  be  more  speedily  reduced.  These 
unfortunate  people  were  told  that  if  they  returned  to  the 
Irish  lines  they  would  be  massacred.  But  Roze  had  gone 
in  this  beyond  his  powers,  and  directly  contrary  to  a 
Royal  Order  which  James  had  authorised  Hamilton  to 
issue,  promising  clemency,  protection  and  liberty  to  all 
Protestants  not  in  arms.  The  French  General,  by  his  new 
order,  made  the  King  appear  in  the  light  of  a  perjurer. 
James  was  naturally  furious,  and  declared  to  his  Court, 
"  If  Marshal  Roze  were  my  subject  I  would  hang  him  "  ; 
but  as  he  was  not  his  subject  he  had  to  write  him  a  civil 
letter,  telling  him  that  "  it  is  positively  our  will  that  you 
do  not  put  your  project  in  execution  as  far  as  it  regards 
the  men,  women  and  children  of  whom  you  speak,  but 

io8          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

on  the  contrary  that  you  send  them  back  to  their  habita- 
tions without  any  injury  to  their  persons." 

This  counter-order  was  highly  creditable  to  James's 
humanity,  and  was  in  full  accordance  with  Hamilton's 
procedure,  for  before  Roze  took  up  the  command  he  used 
to  allow  fifty  and  sometimes  a  hundred  a  day  of  the  aged, 
the  young,  and  the  sick  of  the  townspeople  to  leave  Derry 
and  go  to  their  friends  elsewhere.  It  remains  to  the  lasting 
credit  of  King  James  that,  although  he  was  himself  a  con- 
vert to  Rome,  and  the  most  fervid  of  Catholics,  he  set 
himself  rigidly  against  continuing  the  cruel  proceedings 
so  common  to  all  religious  wars.  But  James  did  not  limit 
his  disapprobation  to  a  mild  censure.  He  sent  Lord 
Dover  on  a  special  mission  to  France  "  to  endeavour 
with  all  the  softness  imaginable  to  have  our  dearest  brother 
recall  the  Marquis  de  Roze  as  one  after  having  done  what 
he  did  at  Londonderry  incapable  to  serve  us  usefully. 
Since  we  will  not  vindicate  our  justice  by  punishing  of 
him  we  must  show  our  dislike  of  his  procedure  by  having 
him  recalled." 

After  this  incident  all  Marshal  Roze  could  think  of 
doing  was  to  take  some  steps  to  protect  his  camp,  which 
had  been  left  quite  open,  and  to  wait  with  such  patience 
as  he  could  command  until  the  place  should  surrender 
through  famine,  and  for  a  time  he  waited  with  considerable 
confidence,  for  a  first  attempt  by  General  Kirke  to  throw 
supplies  and  troops  into  the  town  had  failed.  But  at 
this  juncture  a  very  great  disaster  befell  a  part  of  the 
King's  army,  and  not  merely  shook  his  position  in  Ulster, 
but  everybody's  confidence  in  the  Army  itself.  The  mis- 
fortune was  all  the  greater  because  it  befell  Lord  Mount- 
cashell,  who  was  the  most  experienced  of  the  Irish  generals, 
and  whose  regiment  was  one  of  the  best  trained  and  armed 
in  the  whole  force. 

At  the  same  time  that  Roze  was  sent  to  Derry  Mount- 
cashell  was  ordered  to  collect  a  mixed  force  of  4000  men 
and  proceed  to  capture  Crum  Castle,  in  Fermanagh, 


as  a  preliminary  to  attacking  Enniskillen.  The  cavalry 
of  his  force  was  commanded  by  Anthony  Hamilton,  and 
the  result  showed  that  he  was  better  with  his  pen  than  his 
sword.  But  although  Mountcashell's  force  was  not  lacking 
in  numbers,  it  had  no  artillery,  and  when  its  commander 
found  that  Crum  was  too  strong  for  attack  without  cannon 
he  drew  off  his  troops  and  marched  towards  Newtown 
Butler.  Hamilton,  with  the  horse,  marched  in  front,  and 
Mountcashell  followed  with  the  infantry. 

Now  news  of  the  intended  attack  on  Crum  had  reached 
the  garrison  of  Enniskillen,  which  was  under  the  command 
of  Brigadier  William  Wolseley,  and  it  was  decided  to  march 
out  to  relieve  that  place.  Without  either  being  aware 
of  the  fact  Hamilton  and  Wolseley  were  marching 
against  one  another,  and  they  came  into  contact  near 
Newtown  Butler.  There  was  some  little  firing  between 
the  dragoons  on  either  side,  and  then  Hamilton,  thinking 
he  ought  to  rejoin  his  chief,  gave  an  order  which  was, 
to  put  the  matter  charitably,  misunderstood.  Whatever 
the  explanation  the  fact  remains  that  the  Irish  cavalry 
turned  right  about  and  galloped  off  the  field  as  fast  as 
they  could,  and  that  Brigadier  Hamilton  galloped  off 
with  them,  which  was  scarcely  reconcilable  with  his  own 
story  at  the  subsequent  court  martial  that  he  intended  to 
rejoin  Mountcashell.  But  the  affair  was  even  more  dis- 
creditable than  described,  for  the  cavalry  were  seized  with 
a  panic  in  their  flight,  threw  away  their  arms,  and  even 
abandoned  their  horses  to  escape  across  country. 

News  of  the  flight  of  his  cavalry  and  of  the  advance 
of  the  enemy  reached  Mountcashell  together,  and  thus 
before  his  force  was  engaged  its  confidence  was  seriously 
shaken  by  the  overthrow  of  the  cavalry.  An  honourable 
exception  must  be  made  for  Mountcashell's  own  regiment, 
which  stood  firm  and  was  cut  to  pieces.  A  French  officer, 
Captain  Marigny,  of  the  regiment  de  Champagne,  rallied 
the  regiment  of  Lord  Bophin  and  made  a  good  stand  with 
the  best  part  of  it,  but  the  rest  of  the  foot  ran  away  as 


ignominiously  as  the  cavalry  had  done.  Both  Mountcashell 
and  Marigny  were  seriously  wounded  and  taken  prisoners. 
The  French  report  of  the  battle  is  brief  and  sarcastic  : 
"  Lord  Mountcashell  deserted  by  his  cowardly  soldiers 
was  wounded  and  taken  prisoner."  There  is  nothing  in 
the  rout  of  Newtown  Butler  to  show  that  the  Irish  Catholic 
army  might  become  an  efficient  war  instrument.  Roze 
saw  his  chance  and  capped  the  incident  by  declaring  that 
if  there  were  only  capable  officers  in  Derry  they  would  lead 
out  their  men  and  drive  his  army  away.  Roze  also  presided 
at  the  court  martial  on  Anthony  Hamilton  and  Captain 
Lavalin,  who  misunderstood  the  order.  Hamilton  was 
given  the  benefit  of  the  doubt,  but  Lavalin,  an  officer  of 
some  experience  abroad,  was  ordered  to  be,  and  was,  shot. 
Somebody  ought  certainly  to  have  been  punished  for  such  a 
disgraceful  affair,  but  the  opinion  of  the  day  was  that  the 
real  culprit  was  not  Lavalin.  D'Avaux,  indeed,  declared  that 
all  the  intriguing  of  the  day  was  for  the  purpose  of  saving 
the  Hamiltons  from  the  consequences  of  their  failures, 
Anthony  at  Crum  and  Richard  at  Derry ;  but  then,  they 
were  not  his  friends. 

The  Mountcashell  disaster  was  soon  followed  by  another. 
The  Derry  garrison  was  at  last  in  the  throes  of  starvation, 
and  unless  supplies  reached  them  surrender  within  a  few 
days  had  become  inevitable.  General  Kirke  with  the 
reinforcements  and  stores  was  still  in  Lough  Foyle,  a 
fresh  effort  was  decided  on  to  get  succour  up  the  river,  and 
the  "  Dartmouth"  frigate  was  assigned  to  lead  the  forlorn 
hope.  It  got  past  Culmore  and  the  batteries  without  being 
hit  (it  was  said  that  the  men  in  them  were  all  made  drunk 
by  the  gift  of  a  cask  of  brandy),  and  it  smashed  its  way 
through  the  boom.  Then  people  marvelled  why  Hamilton 
had  not  sunk  boats  or  barges  in  the  navigable  channel. 
But  regret  was  too  late  when  in  the  wake  of  the  "  Dart- 
mouth "  came  the  rest  of  the  ships  with  Kirke's  regiments 
and  ample  supplies  on  board. 

Roze  at  once  accepted  the  situation.     Derry  had  been 


relieved.  It  only  remained  for  him  to  draw  off  his  army. 
He  retreated  until  he  came  to  Drogheda  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Boyne,  and  there  he  halted  by  the  King's  order. 
The  total  losses  of  the  Irish  army  before  Derry  amounted 
to  8000  men,  chiefly  from  disease,  and  it  was  computed 
that  the  defenders  lost  about  3000.  But  the  Irish  army 
was  completely  demoralised  and  presented  a  deplorable 
appearance.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  best  armies 
deteriorate  during  the  long  beleaguerment  of  a  place,  and 
the  Irish  army  had  never  been  more  than  an  army  in  the 
making.  D'Avaux  wrote  with  more  or  less  truth,  "  the 
troops  returning  from  the  Siege  of  Derry  are  entirely  ruined, 
and  it  is  useless  to  expect  anything  from  such  men." 

Alarm  was  felt  even  in  Dublin,  where  the  garrison 
consisted  of  six  badly  armed  regiments  who  had  never  fired  a 
shot,  and  in  the  event  of  withdrawal  from  it  becoming 
necessary,  Athlone  and  Limerick  were  the  only  places  left 
to  retire  to.  But  for  the  moment  there  was  no  real  danger, 
the  Ulstermen  had  not  the  power  to  assume  the  offensive, 
and  although  it  was  known  with  more  or  less  certainty  that 
an  army  was  coming  from  England,  it  had  not  yet  arrived. 
There  was  no  need  then  for  Roze's  force  to  continue  its 
retreat  south  of  the  Boyne.  At  this  moment  further  bad 
news  came  from  Scotland. 

James's  personal  desire  to  go  to  Scotland  has  been 
mentioned.  In  April  he  had  allowed  two  of  his  officers, 
both  Highlanders,  Sir  John  Maclean  and  Captain  Ronald 
Macdonald,  chief  of  his  clan,  to  go  to  Scotland  and  raise 
there  forces  to  help  Dundee.  It  was  also  agreed  that  2000 
Irish  troops  should  follow,  and  Dundee  had  specially  asked 
for  some  cavalry.  This  was  compromised  by  the  despatch 
of  the  Purcell  Dragoon  regiment  dismounted,  and  at  the 
same  time  Colonel  Cannon  (apparently  Canan)  with  some 
more  of  the  Scottish  officers  in  James's  service  left  for  their 
native  heath.  This  force  was  conveyed  across  on  the  three 
French  frigates  already  referred  to  as  being  under  the 
command  of  M.  Du  Quesne.  Thus  reinforced  Dundee 

ii2  THE    BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

gave  battle  to  William's  army,  commanded  by  General 
Mackay  in  the  pass  of  Killiecrankie,  on  July  27,  and  com- 
pletely defeated  it.  But  in  the  moment  of  victory  the 
gallant  Stuart  leader  received  a  severe  and,  as  it  proved, 
a  mortal  wound.  Before  he  died  he  wrote  a  letter  to  his 
sovereign,  which  is  interesting  on  account  of  the  tribute 
it  pays  to  the  Irish  soldiers  who  took  part  in  the  battle  of 

The  following  extracts  will  suffice  : — 

"  I  gave  the  enemy's  baggage  to  the  soldiers,  who,  to  do 
them  all  right,  both  officers  and  common  men,  Highlands, 
Lowlands  and  Irish,  behaved  themselves  with  equal 
gallantry  to  whatever  I  saw  in  the  hottest  battles  fought 
abroad  by  disciplined  armies.  .  .  .  Therefore,  Sir,  for 
God's  sake  assist  us,  though  it  be  with  such  another  detach- 
ment of  your  Irish  forces  as  you  sent  us  before,  especially 
of  horse  and  dragoons."  The  death  of  Viscount  Dundee, 
"  last  of  Scotsmen  and  last  of  the  Grahams,"  as  the 
poet  called  him,  was  the  death-blow  to  James's  chances  in 
Scotland.  Colonel  Cannon  succeeded  to  the  command,  but 
although  a  good  officer  he  did  not  understand  the  High- 
landers' way  of  righting  and  was  not  popular  with  them. 
He  suffered  a  serious  defeat  at  Dunkeld,  and  then  the 
clans  retired  into  the  hills.  The  unfortunate  Irish  soldiers, 
in  a  strange  land  where  supplies  were  exceedingly  meagre, 
seem  to  have  died  almost  to  the  last  man,  and  literally  of 
starvation.  A  certain  number  of  the  officers  of  Dundee's 
army  later  on  reached  France,  where  we  shall  meet  them 

This  succession  of  failures  and  reverses  brought  James's 
fortunes  to  a  low  ebb,  but  before  we  record  the  remarkable 
improvement  that  took  place  in  them  during  the  late 
summer  of  1689,  and  that  was  maintained  until  William's 
arrival  in  the  following  year,  it  will  be  well  to  describe  the 
episodes  which  culminated  in  Melfort's  removal  from 
office  and  D'Avaux's  departure  for  France. 

Louis  was  very  much  concerned  when  he  learnt,  through 


D'Avaux's  communications,  that  James's  councillors  were 
divided  against  each  other,  and  he  exhorted  his  envoy 
"  to  try  and  impress  on  Melfort  that  the  interests  of  his 
King  and  my  own  (Louis's)  are  the  same,"  and  D'Avaux 
replies  that  he  will  do  his  best  to  get  on  with  Melfort  and 
"  to  induce  him  to  do  things  which  shall  be  advantageous 
for  Ireland  and  France."  But  a  very  little  later  he  reports 
that  Melfort  is  hopeless,  that  he  has  two  faults  characteristic 
of  Scotsmen,  "  he  is  very  hot-tempered  and  takes  offence 
at  trifles,"  and  besides  that,  even  if  he  gave  way  to  him 
in  everything,  no  good  would  follow  because  the  Irish  de- 
tested him  and  were  clamouring  for  his  removal  from 

Financial  considerations  were  also  the  determining 
factors  in  the  situation.  There  was  practically  no  money  in 
Ireland  ;  that  brought  from  France  was  not  much,  and 
both  James  and  Melfort  seemed  unable  to  make  the  most 
of  the  little  they  had.  Besides,  it  was  impossible  to  get 
accounts  from  them.  D'Avaux  writes  in  one  despatch  : 
"  King  James  wastes  his  money,  gives  nothing  for  useful  pur- 
poses, and  thousands  for  useless.  I  have  paid  two  hundred 
and  fifty  thousand  francs  to  his  Receiver,  and  I  can  get  no 
information  as  to  what  has  been  done  with  it."  Certainly 
none  of  the  Irish  commanders  ever  got  a  penny  of  it,  and 
Melfort's  neglect  to  send  supplies  was  often  the  direct 
cause  of  some  of  the  worst  mishaps.  Melfort's  fall  was 
deferred  by  the  frequent  illnesses  of  Tyrconnell,  but  about 
the  time  of  the  withdrawal  from  Derry  he  recovered 
sufficiently  to  resume  his  place  on  the  Council,  and  a 
concerted  effort  was  made  to  get  rid  of  the  Secretary  of 
State,  as  Melfort  was  called. 

D'Avaux  undertook  to  bell  the  cat,  and  called  upon 
Melfort  to  give  some  explanation  in  regard  to  what  had 
been  done  with  the  money  supplied  by  France.  Melfort 
replied  that  this  was  very  little,  and  that  much  more  was 
required.  The  French  ambassador  retorted  that  he  had 
allowed  Protestants  to  leave  the  country  with  a  million 

ii4          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

(i.e.  francs)  of  money,  and  Melfort  said  that  they  had  only 
removed  400,000.  The  scene  became  somewhat  stormy,  and 
angry  words  were  exchanged.  Among  other  things  D'Avaux 
asked  Melfort  to  take  off  the  import  duty  on  French  wine, 
and  Melfort  replied  that  he  would  do  so  if  France  removed 
her  duty  on  Irish  wool  and  cloth.  Several  Platonic  ordi- 
nances had  been  published  in  both  countries  about  the 
naturalisation  of  the  two  peoples  in  the  other's  country, 
and  Louis  had  taken  off  the  import  duties  on  all  Irish 
articles  "  except  wool."  The  situation  somewhat  recalls 
the  speech  of  Dido  to  ./Eneas :  "  Tros  Tyriusque  idem,  et 
nullo  discrimine  agetur." 

Immediately  after  this  interview  D'Avaux  had  an 
audience  of  the  King,  and  expressed  a  very  strong  opinion 
that  Melfort  was  incompetent  and  ought  to  be  removed 
from  office.  James  replied  with  some  asperity  that  he  was 
aware  of  his  shortcomings,  and  that  he  would  remove  him 
if  there  was  any  one  to  put  in  his  place,  but  unfortunately 
there  was  not.  As  D'Avaux  then  suggested,  would  it  not 
be  better  to  have  no  ministers  here  than  retain  one  who 
was  clearly  injuring  the  King's  cause  ? 

At  this  time  letters  arrived  from  Queen  Mary  d'Este 
urging  James  to  dismiss  Melfort,  but  unfortunately  the 
weight  of  the  advice  was  diminished  by  an  attack  on 
D'Avaux,  who  was  alleged  to  have  said  in  his  letters  to 
France  that  James  had  no  will  of  his  own,  that  he  was 
ruled  in  everything  by  Berwick,  who  in  turn  was  swayed 
by  the  Hamiltons.  James  thereupon  taxed  D'Avaux  in  the 
matter,  alleging  that  he  was  making  charges  behind  his 
back,  but  he  denied  ever  having  said  anything  of  the  kind, 
and  a  search  of  his  published  correspondence  reveals  no 
evidence  on  the  subject.  What  he  had  written  was  that 
James  consulted  Berwick  in  all  matters  affecting  the 
army,  and  allowed  him  alone  to  make  the  appointments, 
giving  as  an  instance  of  this  that  Berwick  had  made  his 
Lieutenant-Colonel  a  Major-General,  although  a  regular 
toper  who  got  drunk  every  day.  As  this  officer  was  not 


Irish  it  is  unnecessary  to  give  his  name.  He  may  have 
drunk  hard,  but  he  could  also  fight  well. 

At  the  same  time  D'Avaux  had  written  some  very 
severe  things  about  James  in  his  letters  to  Louvois.  He 
accused  him  of  "  sleeping  when  he  should  be  awake."  He 
also  complained  of  James's  want  of  appreciation  of  good 
service,  instancing  the  case  of  Du  Quesne,  who  took  the 
Irish  regiment  to  Scotland  and  captured  several  prizes, 
which  he  handed  over  to  James  without  receiving  any 
reward  or  recognition,  and  when  he  came  to  Dublin  to 
have  a  farewell  audience  the  King  left  him  to  pay  his 
travelling  expenses  out  of  his  own  pocket.  As  a  final 
censure  the  French  ambassador  declared  that  the  King 
"  gets  angry  very  easily,"  and  then  "  il  n'agit  pas  avec  la 
noblesse  de  cceur  qu'on  devrait  attendre  non  pas  d'un  roi 
mais  d'un  simple  gentilhomme." 

This  free  criticism  of  royalty  in  that  age  was  somewhat 
unusual  and  hazardous.  D'Avaux  was  certainly  bringing 
about  Melfort's  fall,  but  at  the  same  time  he  was  under- 
mining his  own  position  at  Versailles.  He  did  not  know, 
of  course,  that  quite  unconsciously  he  was  playing  the 
game  into  the  hands  of  his  successor  Lauzun,  the  next 
puppet  of  the  show.  Lauzun  was  the  carrier  of  the  tales 
between  Versailles  and  St.  Germains.  His  friend,  Lord 
Dover,  who  did  not  care  much  for  the  French  making  for 
the  moment  an  exception  in  Lauzun's  favour,  but  who 
detested  the  Irish,  brought  him  a  supply  of  gossip  after 
each  mission  to  Dublin.  Queen  Mary  insensibly  adopted 
the  opinion  that  Lauzun,  who  had  rescued  her,  might 
prove  her  husband's  saviour  also.  Sir  George  Porter,  who 
had  been  James's  ambassador  at  Rome  (whence  he  reported 
that  the  Pope  was  all  for  the  enemies  of  France),  was  sent 
by  the  Queen  to  Dublin  to  disparage  D'Avaux  and  support 
the  interests  of  Lauzun.  D'Avaux  described  him  as  "  lazy, 
generally  disliked,  and  dishonest,"  and  there  is  good 
reason  for  saying  that  the  criticism  was  just.  When 
Louvois  got  wind  of  the  plot  he  warned  D'Avaux  to  be 


ii6          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

more  careful,  but  by  that  time  his  relations  with  James 
had  become  hopelessly  strained,  and  he  was  only  desirous 
himself  of  getting  back  to  France. 

If  the  objection  to  Melfort's  remaining  in  office  had 
only  come  from  D'Avaux  it  is  probable  that  James  would 
have  succeeded  in  putting  off  a  decision  to  remove  him, 
but  the  outcry  among  the  Irish  at  his  disregard  of  their 
interests  had  become  loud  and  menacing.  The  climax  of 
his  shortcomings  seems  to  have  been  reached  when  he 
turned  a  deaf  ear  to  Sarsfield's  request  that  300  horses 
should  be  sent  to  him  in  Sligo.  It  was  after  this  incident  that 
Tyrconnell,  with  a  deputation  of  Irish  officers,  presented 
himself  to  James  and  formally  demanded  Melfort's  removal. 
To  such  a  plain  and  public  request  as  this  James  was  unable 
to  give  any  but  an  affirmative  answer.  He  removed 
Melfort  from  the  post  of  Secretary  of  State  for  Ireland, 
accepting  Tyrconnell's  nephew,  Sir  William  Talbot,  in  his 
place,  and  then  to  show  that  the  deposed  Secretary  was 
still  in  favour  he  made  him  Secretary  of  State  for 
England  ! 

The  consequence  of  this  was  that  while  Irish  affairs 
were  left  to  Sir  William  Talbot,  Melfort,  although  de- 
nounced on  all  hands,  still  ruled  the  King.  The  Duchess  of 
Tyrconnell,  in  the  absence  of  her  husband,  spoke  to  him 
for  interfering  in  matters  that  no  longer  concerned  him, 
and  Melfort  haughtily  and  angrily  justified  himself  by 
declaring  that  "  an  angel  from  Heaven  could  not  have 
done  better  than  he  had  done,"  adding  in  what  might  seem 
to  us  an  irrelevant  manner  that  "  those  who  were  afraid 
should  leave  the  country."  Melfort  might  have  stayed 
on  indefinitely,  and  had  the  satisfaction  of  seeing  D'Avaux 
go  first,  if  he  had  not  suddenly  learnt  that  there  was  a  plot 
among  the  Irish  officers  to  assassinate  him.  His  last  offence 
had  been  to  allow  four  Irish  Protestant  peers  in  Dublin 
and  Kildare  to  retain  strong  mounted  bodyguards,  for 
which  he  was  bribed.  The  imminence  of  the  danger  was 
brought  home  to  him  by  the  lawlessness  of  some  of  the 


troops  in  Dublin.  More  than  one  encounter  took  place 
between  the  bodyguard  and  the  men  of  other  regiments,  and 
on  September  6  he  requested  James's  leave  to  return  to 
France.  He  and  his  wife  left  Dublin  in  secret,  and  it  was 
said  that  in  their  carriage  they  carried  away  a  good  deal  of 
treasure.  D'Avaux's  comment  on  the  news  when  it 
reached  him  was,  "  if  it  had  only  taken  place  three  months 
ago  it  might  have  done  some  good ;  now  it  is  too  late." 
Melfort  reached  France  in  safety,  and  was  received  by 
Queen  Mary  on  September  26  at  St.  Germains,  where  we 
may  leave  him  for  the  present.  He  was  more  fortunate  than 
poor  Lord  Thomas  Howard,  of  Worksop,  who  sailed  shortly 
afterwards  and  was  lost  at  sea.  Lord  Thomas,  "  the  best 
man  here,"  according  to  D'Avaux,  was  a  nobleman  of 
great  parts,  but  he  stood  aloof  from  political  intrigues. 
His  two  sons  (to  whom  Evelyn  refers)  became  in  turn 
Dukes  of  Norfolk. 

No  exact  information  of  Lord  Thomas's  fate  has  been 
forthcoming,  and  the  records  at  the  French  War  Office 
contain  nothing  on  the  subject.  The  known  facts  are  that 
he  sailed  on  board  a  ship  called  "  The  Tempest  "  in  com- 
pany with  a  well-known  French  officer — the  Chevalier  de 
St.  Didier — and  that  nothing  was  ever  heard  of  either 
again.  The  weather  was  very  bad  at  the  moment  of  sailing 
from  Cork,  and  the  captain — an  Englishman,  who  had 
been  consul  in  Holland — was  advised  not  to  sail,  but  he 
refused  to  listen  to  the  advice. 

Melfort  was  one  of  those  bad  advisers  with  whom  the 
Stuarts  were  cursed  at  all  stages  of  their  history.  There 
is  no  evidence  to  show  that  he  was  a  traitor  like  Sunderland, 
although  one  of  the  subsequent  edicts  passed  at  St.  Germains 
in  1694  was  "  a  pardon  to  the  Earl  of  Melfort  for  acts  of 
treason  to  James  and  his  predecessor."  But  it  is  clear  that 
he  had  no  grasp  of  the  state  of  affairs.  He  pursued  the 
shadow  of  James's  possible  return  to  England,  and  neglected 
the  substance  of  setting  up  a  strong  Government  in  Ireland. 
As  he  was  a  Protestant  he  had  no  sympathy  with  the  views 

ii8          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

of  Catholic  reactionaries,  and  it  was  quite  impossible  for 
him  to  work  in  harmony  with  Tyrconnell.  He  had  gained 
James's  ear  by  flattery,  and  especially  did  he  flatter  him 
in  his  views  about  the  sentiments  of  love  and  loyalty  of 
his  English  subjects  who  rose  in  arms  against  him.  At  the 
same  time  Melfort  was  extremely  jealous  of  his  master's 
attentions  to  his  wife.  Much  of  his  time  was  given  up  to 
watching  her  movements,  and  as  Lady  Melfort's  main  object 
was  to  amass  money — a  special  collection  being  raised  for  her 
benefit  among  the  Jacobites  in  Scotland — an  explanation 
may  be  furnished  of  the  fact  that  whatever  the  Secretary 
of  State  may  have  done  with  the  French  money,  very  little 
of  it  ever  reached  James.  In  James's  own  memoir  it  is 
stated  with  some  bitterness  that  he  long  was  charged  for 
the  maintenance  of  50,000  troops  whilst  there  were  only 
18,000  men  with  the  colours.  Certainly  if  money  was 
diverted  from  its  proper  purpose  Melfort  was  the  only  man 
into  whose  pockets  it  could  have  passed. 

The  disputes  with  Melfort  had  shaken  the  faith  of  the 
French  Government  in  the  feasibility  of  doing  anything 
material  from  the  side  of  Ireland.  If  James  could  only  have 
made  Ireland  an  independent  kingdom  it  would  have 
remained  a  thorn  in  the  side  of  England,  cramping  her 
efforts  as  against  France.  But  James  did  not  show  the 
smallest  inclination  to  pacify  the  whole  of  Ireland,  or  to 
rest  contented  with  it  if  pacified.  He  had  his  own  ends  in 
view,  and  they  were  totally  disconnected  with  French 
interests.  Louvois  saw  quite  clearly  what  was  in  James's 
mind  ;  he  also  saw  that  his  schemes  were  visionary  and 
unattainable.  The  Frenchman  said,  "  England  is  lost, 
but  Ireland  may  be  won."  The  Stuart  Prince  replied, 
"  I  do  not  care  about  Ireland,  but  I  want  England." 
Louvois  wrote  peremptorily  to  D'Avaux  on  receiving 
these  chimerical  propositions  :  "  Tell  King  James  bluntly 
that  if  he  continues  to  listen  to  bad  advisers  it  will  be 
useless  for  King  Louis  to  waste  his  resources  in  trying  to 
help  him."  And  if  Louvois  had  had  his  own  way  it  is 


probable  that  the  Irish  adventure  would  have  been  dropped 
then  and  there. 

But  King  Louis  had  passed  his  word  to  help  his  royal 
brother,  and  while  he  often  heeded  the  wise  counsels  of 
Louvois  there  were  times  when  he  followed  his  own  line 
and  was  not  to  be  turned  from  his  course.  Provided  his 
arms  were  successful  in  the  Netherlands  he  was  quite 
prepared  to  send  some  troops  to  Ireland  to  endeavour  to 
change  the  fortunes  of  the  war  there.  He  had  the  assurances 
of  his  ambassador  that  at  least  an  equal  number  of  Irish 
troops  should  come  over  to  France,  and  of  his  officers 
Boisseleau  and  Pointis  that  Irishmen  only  required  good 
discipline  and  arms  to  make  good  troops.  It  is  quite 
true  that  down  to  September,  1689  (the  date  of  Melfort's 
departure),  they  had  done  nothing  to  deserve  this  good 
opinion.  Defeat,  disaster,  and  even  disgrace  (the  affair 
between  Crum  and  Newtown  Butler  was  disgraceful)  were 
the  only  records  attached  to  their  name  and  efforts.  The 
army  created  by  Tyrconnell  had  failed  in  every  sense  to 
justify  its  existence.  It  might  have  been  termed  a  horde 
or  a  mob,  and  if  James  had  fled  with  Melfort  it  seems  only 
too  probable  that  no  opportunity  would  have  been  left 
it  of  redeeming  the  fallen  reputation  of  the  Irish  people 
for  natural  courage  reduced  to  the  lowest  possible  ebb 
by  the  failure  at  Derry  and  elsewhere.  The  remarkable 
change  that  followed  will  be  the  theme  of  the  next  chapter. 

Chapter  V 

THE    CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90 

WHEN  Melfort  left  Ireland  for  France  it  looked 
as  if  James's  situation  were  desperate.  What 
were  the  causes  of  the  remarkable  improve- 
ment that  took  place  immediately  after  his 
departure  ?  They  may  well  have  been  more  numerous, 
but  two  at  least  stand  out  with  prominence.  The  first  was 
the  arrival  at  the  end  of  July  of  five  competent  French 
generals.  They  were  intended  to  take  the  places  of  the 
unfortunate  Maumont  and  Pusignan,  and  their  names 
were  Count  de  Gace,  M.  d'Escots,  M.  d'Amanze,  M. 
Saint  Pater,  and  M.  d'Hocquincourt.  All  these  officers 
held  the  rank  either  of  Marechal  de  Camp,  or  of  Brigadier 
in  the  French  army,  and  in  Ireland  they  were  promoted 
by  King  James  to  that  of  Lieutenant-General  or  Major- 
General.  At  the  same  time  five  of  James's  own  officers 
(one  Irish,  two  English,  and  two  Scottish)  were  promoted 
Lieutenant-Generals,  and  three,  including  Sarsfield,  became 
Major-Generals.  The  placing  in  command  of  a  con- 
siderable number  of  superior  officers,  many  of  whom  had 
served  in  war,  was  undoubtedly  a  beneficial  step. 

It  may  be  doubted  whether  it  would,  by  itself,  have 
produced  any  great  result  but  for  the  second  cause. 
Another  French  officer,  who  did  more  by  himself,  if  the  test 
of  results  is  applied,  than  all  the  other  French  officers 
together  to  help  James's  cause,  had  just  at  this  very  critical 
juncture  brought  to  a  completion  his  efforts  for  the 
formation  of  a  new  Irish  army.  Boisseleau  was  left,  when 
James  landed  at  Kingsale,  to  perform  what  seemed  the 
thankless  and  unpromising  task  of  drilling  Irish  recruits, 

THE    CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  121 

and  Boisseleau's  zeal  had  been  somewhat  chilled  in  the 
first  place  by  being  left  a  simple  Brigadier  when  others  of  his 
own  rank  got  a  step.  Besides,  Boisseleau  had  no  control  over 
the  arms  which  de  Pointis  held  in  his  hands  and  would  not 
part  with.  It  was  not  until  the  arrival  of  the  Chateau 
Renaud  squadron  that  matters  improved  for  him,  and  that 
he  found  himself  able  to  dispose  of  the  nucleus  of  a  regular 
military  force  furnished  by  the  soldiers  who  had  fled  to 
France  from  England.  About  the  time  that  the  regiments 
from  the  force  before  Derry  were  reaching  Drogheda  and 
Dublin,  Boisseleau's  new  army  had  begun  to  collect  from 
the  south  in  the  camp  specially  prepared  near  Dublin  not 
far  from  the  Curragh  in  Kildare. 

One  of  the  French  officers  last  arrived,  M.  d'Escots, 
was  ordered  to  visit  all  the  Irish  regiments  in  their  garrisons 
and  to  prepare  a  muster  roll.  The  following  is  its  exact  text : 

Positions  and  strength  of  Irish  Regiments  (according  to  M. 
d'Escots'  report  of  August  29,  1689). 


Regiment  Strength 

The  Grand  Prior's  200  (of  whom  120  armed) 

Nugent  400  (of  whom  168  armed) 

Gormanstown  200 

Slane  300 

Moore  400 

Louth  400 

Purcell  (Dragoons)  360 

Westmeath  (Cavalry)  200 

Sutherland         „  105 

Guards  \  1200 




Thomas  Butler 









V.  Infantry  400 

122          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 


Regiment  Strength 

Dungan  ^  360 

Simon  Luttrell    j-  Dragoons        150 
Cotter  240 


Horse  Grenadiers 









Cavalry  250 

1 80 
1 20 

(All  the  Dragoons  and  Cavalry  not  mounted) 


John  Hamilton  247 

Richard  Butler  321 

Edward  Butler  368 

Eustace  454 

Fitzgerald  193 

Creagh  547 

Bagenal  458 

Boisseleau  1178 

Antrim  634 


Bophin  215 

Dillon  500 

Farrell  350 

Clanrickarde  350 


Dominic  Browne  400 


MacElligott  450 

Charles  O'Brien  400 

Sutherland  (Cavalry)  30 


Nicholas  Browne  450 


O'Donovan  400 

Macmahon  500 

Kenmare  200 

THE   CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  123 


Regiment  Strength 

Tyrone  400 

Westmeath  (Cavalry)  80 

Dungan  (Dragoons)  60 

Kenmare  250 

Eustace  53 

McCarty  Mor  200 

Cormac  O'Neil  300 


Cormac  O'Neil  250 

Gordon  O'Neil  100 

Maxwell  (Dragoons)  360 

Chevalier  O'Neil  (Dragoons)          150  (all  unarmed) 

Gordon  O'Neil  100 

These  items  give  a  grand  total  of  16,468  infantry,  1680 
dragoons,  and  2115  cavalry,  or  a  little  over  20,000  men 
altogether.  About  14,000  of  them  were  stationed  between 
the  line  of  the  Boyne  and  Dublin.  This  army  was  not 
fully  equipped,  and  many  of  the  cavalry  and  dragoon 
regiments  had  an  inadequate  supply  of  horses,  but  it  was 
none  the  less  an  immense  improvement  on  the  force 
that  had  carried  on  the  siege  of  Derry.  There  was  more 
cohesion  in  it,  the  commanding  officers  knew  their  work, 
and  for  the  first  time  the  Irish  regiments  presented  some- 
thing like  a  trained  appearance.  D'Avaux  himself  went 
to  see  the  troops  and  was  filled  with  astonishment.  Whereas 
all  his  previous  letters  had  been  full  of  dismal  forebodings, 
he  began  from  the  middle  of  September  to  report  "  great 
improvement  and  more  hope  generally,"  and  at  the 
commencement  of  October  he  declared  that  "  the  im- 
provement in  the  Irish  army  is  almost  inconceivable." 

i24          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

The  Irish  public  were  also  described  as  being  quite  pleased 
at  their  men  being  brought  to  the  front,  and  especially  at 
the  command  in  Dublin  being  given  to  Simon  Luttrell, 
an  Irishman. 

The  improvement  had  not  been  effected  a  moment  too 
soon,  for  a  new  and  formidable  danger  confronted  King 
James.  An  army  of  over  10,000  men,  under  the  command 
of  Marshal  Schomberg,  had  landed  at  Bangor,  in  County 
Down,  on  August  23,  1689,  and  this  force  was  joined  by 
the  Ulster  corps  from  Derry  and  Enniskillen,  raising  its 
total  strength  to  16,000  men.  This  army  was  also  strong  in 
artillery,  the  arm  in  which  the  Jacobite  side  was  weak  and 
sometimes  totally  deficient  throughout  the  whole  of 
the  three  years'  war.  Schomberg's  first  act  was  to  attack 
Carrickf  ergus,  where  Colonel  McCarty  Mor  was  in  command 
of  a  garrison  of  600  men.  The  place  was  well  defended 
for  ten  days,  and  then  the  powder  gave  out ;  but  the 
garrison  was  allowed  to  leave  on  honourable  terms  and  to 
rejoin  the  main  army.  The  terms  of  the  surrender,  how- 
ever, were  not  strictly  kept,  and  many  of  the  men's  arms 
were  taken  away  from  them.  Macpherson  also  alleges  that 
the  Ulstermen  drove  the  women  through  the  streets 
stark  naked.  Schomberg  then  moved  south  by  the  coast 
road  and  came  to  Dundalk. 

One  of  the  opinions  prevalent  in  James's  camp  was  that 
a  large  portion  of  Schomberg's  army  might  be  induced  to 
desert,  and  a  proclamation  was  issued  from  Drogheda 
offering  every  soldier  who  deserted  forty  shillings  and 
employment,  and  every  officer  a  commission  of  equal  rank. 
The  proclamation  does  not  seem  to  have  been  directly 
successful,  but  on  the  other  hand  500  of  the  French  troops 
(Huguenots)  mutinied,  and  were  shut  up  in  Carlingford. 
A  scheme  was  formed  to  rescue  them,  and  entrusted  to 
Colonel  Stapylton  and  Captain  Hugh  Macnamara.  Its 
failure  is  explained  by  the  excessive  loyalty  of  the  Irish 
troops,  for  when  on  his  approach  being  challenged  Mac- 
namara declared  that  he  was  for  King  William,  his  men 

THE   CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  125 

angrily  protested  that  they  were  for  King  James,  thus 
spoiling  the  expedition's  chances  of  success.  When  called 
upon  to  explain  their  conduct,  they  declared  that  they 
thought  that  their  leader  had  turned  traitor  and  was  leading 
them  to  an  ambuscade.  It  was  an  instance  of  the  peril  of 
not  taking  one's  men  into  one's  counsels. 

When  James  heard  of  Schomberg's  advance,  he  ordered 
his  army  to  cross  the  Boyne  and  move  northwards.  At  the 
same  time  he  left  Dublin  for  the  front,  declaring  with  some 
proper  pride  that  "  he  was  not  going  to  be  walked  out  of 
Ireland  without  having  a  blow  for  it."  By  calling  in  all  the 
surrounding  garrisons  he  seems  to  have  succeeded  in  con- 
centrating 20,000  men  at  Ardee  by  September  25,  and 
the  following  Order  of  Battle  shows  the  names  of  his 
commanders  and  the  list  of  the  regiments  present  : — 




Centre  Left 

The  King  Tyrconnell 

Marquis  de  Girardin       R.  Hamilton  Count  de  Gace 

Galmoye  Buchan,  Boisseleau         Sheldon 

Wachop,  D'Amanze",  Dorington 

Cavalry  The  Duke  of  Berwick]    _Cavalry 

M.  d'Escots 

M.  Carney,  Saint  Pater,  Maxwell,  Sarsfield 
Hugh  Sutherland 

Infantry  Regiments 





Edward  Butler 

Luttrell        \  Richard  Butler 

Galmoye  Boisseleau] 

Body  Guard       of  I        Clancarty 
Purcell          >  squadron  Oxburgh 
Dungan  each       Creagh 

Abercorn  Gormanstown 

Sutherland  J  Guards 

After  a  few   days  the   King,  finding  that  Schomberg 
would  not  leave  his  entrenched  camp,  marched  towards  him 

Cavalry  Regiments 



Infantry  Regiments 











Cormac  O'Neil 


126          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

in  full  array  and  offered  battle.  But  the  Prince  of  Orange's 
general  was  too  cautious  and  would  not  accept  the  challenge. 
On  the  other  hand,  James,  having  made  a  good  show, 
was  too  cautious  to  attack  him,  and  this  led  to  a  hot  dispute 
among  his  Generals,  some  of  whom  declared  that  the  loss 
in  carrying  the  entrenchments  would  not  be  very  great. 
It  would  be  idle  to  attempt  to  decide  between  the  two 
opinions.  James  seems  to  have  distrusted  his  army,  most 
of  which,  although  admirably  drilled,  had  never  taken 
part  in  a  regular  action.  He  expressed  the  opinion  that 
"  if  we  only  had  five  or  six  French  battalions  we  would 
drive  Schomberg  out  of  Ireland,"  and  the  inference  is  that 
as  he  had  not  those  battalions  he  could  not  do  so.  At  the 
same  time  there  can  be  no  doubt,  looking  at  the  situation 
by  the  light  of  after  events,  that  he  had  a  far  better  chance 
of  defeating  Schomberg  on  October  I,  1689,  than  he  had 
of  vanquishing  that  Marshal's  master  in  the  following 
July,  when  he  fought  against  far  superior  odds ;  nor  can 
there  be  any  doubt  that  if  he  had  fought  and  won,  William 
himself  would  never  have  ventured  to  cross  the  Irish  Sea. 

In  James's  own  memoir  he  enters  into  close  detail  as 
to  his  movements  and  intentions  during  this  brief  campaign, 
and  he  attributes  to  Roze  the  caution  and  timidity  which 
the  friends  of  the  French  general  attributed  to  the  King. 
Schomberg  was  able  to  give  a  better  justification  for  his 
inaction.  He  wrote  to  William  :  "  So  far  as  I  can  judge 
from  the  state  of  the  Enemy,  and  King  James's  having 
collected  here  all  the  force  that  he  could  in  this  kingdom, 
he  wants  to  come  to  a  battle  before  the  Troops  separate 
on  account  of  the  bad  season  which  will  soon  begin  ;  for 
this  reason  it  appears  to  me  that  we  should  lie  here  upon 
the  defensive.  ...  If  Your  Majesty  was  well  informed 
of  the  state  of  our  army,  and  that  of  our  enemy,  the 
nature  of  the  country,  and  the  situation  of  the  two  camps, 
I  do  not  believe  you  would  incline  to  risk  an  attack.  If  we 
did  not  succeed  Your  Majesty's  army  would  be  lost  without 
resource.  I  make  use  of  that  term  for  I  do  not  believe 

THE   CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  127 

if  it  was  once  put  into  disorder  that  it  could  be  re- 

No  doubt  Schomberg's  own  admissions  strengthen  the 
case  of  those  who  declare  that  James  lost  the  game  by  his 
fatal  hesitation  in  October,  1689.  The  elaborate  defence 
left  in  the  King's  own  memoirs  and  used  verbatim  in  the 
official  Life  is  strong  evidence  that  James,  thinking  the 
matter  over  carefully  in  after  years,  concluded  that  a 
mistake  had  been  made  in  not  attacking  Schomberg,  and 
then  threw  the  blame  incontinently  on  Roze.  There  is 
good  reason  to  believe  that  James  owed  Roze  a  grudge, 
for  when  D'Avaux  suggested  a  month  or  so  earlier  that 
he  should  obtain  Roze's  advice,  the  King  had  answered 
testily  that  he  "  did  not  wish  for  the  Marshal's  advice." 

Having  decided  not  to  attack,  the  King  thought  there 
was  no  use  in  further  watching  his  cautious  opponent, 
and  broke  up  his  camp,  placing  his  troops  in  winter  quarters 
along  the  Boyne  and  near  Dublin.  As  advanced  posts  the 
Jacobites  held  Cavan,  Belturbet,  and  Charlemont,  and 
James  established  himself  in  Dublin  Castle  for  the  winter. 
While  inaction  prevailed  in  county  Louth,  Sarsfield, 
having  got  the  horses  which  Melfort  had  refused  him, 
made  a  daring  raid  into  Sligo,  and  recovered  the  town  of  that 
name  and  also  Jamestown. 

Schomberg,  having  waited  some  days  to  ascertain 
whether  the  Jacobite  army  had  really  withdrawn,  also 
broke  up  his  camp  and  retired  on  the  line  from  Newry  to 
the  sea.  His  army  had  suffered  greatly  from  the  ravages  of 
typhus  and  influenza.  Bad  food,  bad  water,  and  the  heavy 
rains  had  affected  the  English  recruits  very  adversely,  and  the 
total  loss  of  Schomberg's  army  during  the  winter  of  1689-90 
was  placed  as  high  as  8000  men.  It  is  well  to  remember 
that  Schomberg's  army  was  mainly  English — seventeen 
battalions  out  of  a  total  of  twenty-two  being  English — 
whereas  William's  army  in  the  following  year  contained 
a  majority  of  continental  soldiers,  and  indeed  very  few 
English  troops  at  all.  It  is  a  point  of  permanent  interest 

128          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

and  significance  that  there  was  really  no  standing  army  in 
England  of  any  importance  in  1688.  The  House  of 
Commons  had  prevented  the  creation  of  a  regular  army. 
This  fact  no  doubt  enabled  it  to  oust  the  Stuarts,  but  it 
also  admitted  a  foreign  army.  There  was  another  con- 
sequence. At  least  15,000  raw  English  recruits  died  in 
Ireland  of  the  diseases  inseparable  from  camps  in  those 
days,  8000  under  Schombergand  7000  under  Ginkel,  in  1691. 

When  James  returned  to  Dublin,  he  took  two  steps  of  a 
more  uncompromising  character  than  any  he  had  yet 
sanctioned.  He  ordered  the  complete  disarming  of  the 
Protestants  in  Dublin,  which  had  been  up  to  that  point 
very  partially  carried  out,  and  he  wrote  a  letter  with  his 
own  hand  to  Louis  begging  him  to  send  five  or  six  veteran 
regiments  of  foot,  and  promising  to  return  as  many  from 
among  the  best  in  Ireland.  Up  to  this  point  he  had  been 
haggling  about  the  exchange,  but  now,  moved  by  necessity, 
he  passed  his  royal  word  to  do  his  part  in  the  transaction. 
It  was  also  arranged  that  Roze  and  D'Avaux  should  return 
with  the  Irish  regiments,  and  that  Lauzun  should  come 
over  with  the  French  to  assume  the  supreme  command. 
The  meritorious  Dangeau  notes  the  completion  of  this 
transaction  in  an  entry  of  October  29,  which  may  be 
quoted  :  "  The  King  has  decided  to  send  M.  de  Lauzun 
to  Ireland  with  7000  infantry  including  15  or  1600  English, 
Scottish,  and  Irish  troops  now  at  Lille.  Roze  is  to  come 
back,  and  Lauzun  is  to  hold  the  rank  of  Captain-General." 
On  the  following  day  King  Louis  goes  to  St.  Germains  to 
tell  Queen  Mary  the  news,  at  which  she  is  very  pleased. 

Although  James  was  at  last  induced  to  adopt  some 
severe  measures  against  the  Protestants  as  a  general  body, 
he  could  never  bring  himself  to  be  severe  with  individuals. 
His  official  printer  was  a  Protestant,  and  a  notice  calling 
upon  the  Protestants  to  surrender  arms  and  horses  under 
severe  penalties  (this  was  the  last  of  several  similar  notices, 
but  it  ordained  harsher  penalties)  was  sent  to  him  to  print. 
But  somehow  he  forgot  to  print  it,  and  the  omission  was 

THE    CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  129 

not  discovered  for  several  weeks.  James  was  urged  to  make 
an  example  of  him ;  instead  he  accepted  his  excuses. 
Another  instance  was  when  he  allowed  a  resident  in  Dublin, 
detected  in  corresponding  with  William's  Government,  to 
escape  so  that  he  should  not  be  obliged  to  have  him 
executed.  It  was  not,  thus  that  William  dealt  with  in- 
formers. When  Mark  Bagot  was  caught  some  months  later 
disguised  in  woman's  clothes  in  Dublin,  he  was  hanged 
without  mercy.  From  the  humane  point  of  view  there 
is  not  the  smallest  reproach  to  be  cast  at  James  II. 

The  winter  months  of  1689-90,  pending  the  arrival  of 
the  French  reinforcements,  were  passed  in  absolute  stag- 
nation. The  process  of  hibernation  was  not  enlivened  by 
even  the  quarrels  of  D'Avaux  and  Melfort,  and  perhaps  the 
most  exciting  incident  was  Lord  Mountcashell's  escape 
from  Enniskillen  after  the  proposal  to  exchange  him  for 
Lord  Mount] oy  had  been  discussed.  The  Dublin  Court, 
despite  the  gay  spirits  of  the  Duchess  of  Tyrconnell  and  her 
daughters,  for  three  of  whom  she  had  succeeded,  during 
her  husband's  Viceroyalty,  in  finding  husbands  among 
the  Jacobite  peers  (Viscount  Rosse,  Viscount  Kingsland,  and 
Henry,  afterwards  Viscount  Dillon),  was  dull,  poor,  and 
without  distinction.  The  available  resources  were  so 
meagre  that  even  at  the  King's  table  wine  had  to  be 
measured  out  in  small  glasses.  All  the  efforts  made  to 
improve  the  financial  situation  had  failed.  The  white 
metal  money  had  fallen  into  even  worse  repute  than  the 
brass.  D'Avaux's  hoards,  secret  and  avowed,  had  been 
exhausted.  The  only  course  left  to  support  existence  was 
to  sleep  through  as  much  as  possible  of  the  winter  in  the 
hope  that  the  spring  would  bring  French  troops  and 

James,  having  made  his  request  to  the  French  King, 
seems  to  have  thought  that  there  was  nothing  more  for 
him  to  do  than  to  await  Lauzun's  arrival,  and  sank  into 
moody  inactivity.  The  same  lethargy  fell  over  all  the 
Irish  camps,  and  the  improvidence  that  neglected  to 

130  THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

prepare  everything  for  the  decisive  campaign,  which  every- 
one saw  was  to  mark  the  year  1690,  may  have  been  the 
principal  cause  of  the  defeat  that  happened  when  victory 
seemed  to  be  reasonably  assured.  As  Plunkett  wrote  : — 

"  During  this  winter,  1689,  the  King  and  his  Catholic 
people  of  Ireland  were  cheerful  enough  as  having  not 
received  so  great  a  loss  from  the  army  of  Marshal  Schom- 
berg  as  they  at  first  apprehended.  But  with  all  this  His 
Majesty  had  little  or  no  intelligence  of  what  preparations 
were  a-making  in  England  against  Ireland  for  the  next 
campaign,  and  therefore  he  and  his  loyalists  improved  not 
their  condition.  There  was  no  augmentation  of  troops 
made,  as  there  should  be,  and  that  considerably  ;  no  care 
taken  in  exercising  the  army  in  their  respective  quarters ; 
in  providing  arms  and  apparel,  in  fortifying  towns  and 
filling  them  with  ammunition  and  victuals.  This  was  not 
the  way  to  secure  Ireland  and  conquer  England.  Great 
undertakings  require  great  wisdom,  great  care,  great 
diligence.  Alas,  it  is  no  children's  play  !  " 

At  the  same  time  that  it  is  impossible  to  acquit  James 
of  apathy  in  regard  to  preparations  for  the  future,  it  must 
be  noted  that  he  passed  some  acts  that  were  intended  to 
benefit  his  soldiers.  In  December,  1689,  he  restored  the 
infantry  soldier  his  full  two  shillings  a  week,  and  the  dragoon 
his  six  shillings,  while  the  cavalry  man  was  to  get  eight 
shillings.  Of  course  it  had  to  be  paid  largely  in  base  money, 
but  the  King  was  not  to  be  blamed  for  that,  and  if  his 
promises  could  raise  the  value  of  a  currency  it  would  not 
long  have  been  base.  But  what  he  could  do  in  other  ways 
to  secure  for  the  men  their  money's  worth  he  did.  He 
caused  sutling  houses  to  be  opened  throughout  Ireland 
wherein  good  ale  had  to  be  sold  by  measure  at  two  pence 
a  pint,  and  he  caused  a  notice  to  that  effect  to  be  placed  in 
their  windows  written  in  English  and  French  (Pan-Gaelics 
must  learn  with  regret  that  there  was  no  reference  to 
Irish).  When  meat  became  so  dear  in  Dublin  that  the 
price  was  prohibitive,  although  there  was  plenty  of  meat  in 

THE    CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  131 

the  country,  he  sent  the  Lord  Mayor  an  order  that  he  was 
neither  to  tax  it  nor  hinder  its  admission  into  the  city. 

D'Avaux  alone  was  busy  and  attentive  to  the  work  he 
had  in  hand.  He  dropped  the  role  of  James's  adviser  or 
critic.  The  responsibility  for  his  success  or  failure  was  no 
longer  his  affair  ;  it  was  passing  into  other  hands.  But  he 
was  responsible  for  his  master's  getting  the  pick  of  the 
Irish  regiments  and  of  the  Irish  officers,  and  this  kept  him 
busy  when  others  were  idle.  As  that  episode  forms  the 
true  birth  of  the  Irish  Brigade,  we  shall  leave  it  for  detailed 
description  in  a  later  chapter  devoted  to  the  Mountcashell 

As  the  Irish  troops  had  nothing  to  do,  it  is  not  very 
surprising  that  quarrelling  was  somewhat  common  among 
them.  Among  the  French  officers  more  than  one  duel  was 
fought,  and  although  duelling  does  not  seem  to  have  been 
fashionable  in  the  Irish  army  at  this  period  there  were 
several  murders.  One  of  these  was  the  case  of  a  non- 
attached  French  officer  named  Coverent  (a  volunteer,  in 
fact),  who  was  killed  by  an  Irish  dragoon  named  John  Wall. 
Wall  was  acquitted  on  the  ground  that  Coverent  was  not 
attached  to  his  regiment  and  that  there  was  nothing  to 
show  him  that  he  was  an  officer.  The  French  were  very 
much  surprised  and  not  over-pleased  at  discovering  that 
one  of  their  officers  might  be  killed  by  a  private  soldier, 
who  would  escape  scot-free  on  the  decision  of  a  native 
court  martial. 

The  most  sensational  incident,  however,  was  the  quarrel 
between  Henry  Fitzjames,  the  titular  Lord  Grand  Prior, 
and  Lord  Dungan,  which  might  have  had  serious  conse- 
quences but  for  the  latter's  great  self-control  and  for- 
bearance. Lord  Dungan,  who  was  one  of  the  best  of  the 
Irish  officers  and  who  had  raised  his  dragoons  to  a  high 
state  of  efficiency,  was  at  a  merry  soldiers'  party  in  Dublin 
with  other  Irish  officers  when  the  Duke  of  Berwick  and  his 
brother  Henry  Fitzjames  entered  the  room.  A  toast  was 
being  given,  and  Lord  Dungan,  filling  up  a  glass,  handed 

132          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

it  to  Fitz  fames  witK  a  request  to  join  in  it.  He  had, 
perhaps,  not  reflected  on  its  character,  or  was  ignorant  of 
the  true  Stuart  feeling  ;  but  when  he  gave  it  as  "  Con- 
fusion to  Melfort  and  all  bad  counsellors,"  Fitzjames  not 
merely  refused  to  drink  it,  but  declared  that  he  regarded 
Melfort  as  a  friend.  High  words  began  to  pass,  and  before 
those  present  could  intervene  Fitzjames  had  flung  his 
glass,  wine  and  all,  in  Dungan's  face,  spoiling  his  cravat 
and  cutting  his  nose. 

Of  such  an  incident  it  was  only  too  easy  for  those  present 
to  imagine  the  grave  consequences,  and  while  Berwick  and 
others  intervened  to  prevent  an  immediate  collision  on  the 
spot  a  duel  seemed  inevitable,  and  this,  between  two  such 
notable  persons,  could  scarcely  fail  to  have  the  effect  of 
increasing  the  dissatisfaction  of  the  Irish  officers  with  the 
Court.  Lord  Dungan,  too,  had  the  reputation  of  being 
rather  a  fire-eater,  and  in  the  opinion  of  the  most  competent 
persons  present  the  hours  of  Henry  Fitzjames  might  be 

But  Lord  Dungan  was  not  blind  to  all  the  wide  and  far- 
reaching  possibilities  of  the  occasion,  and  he  showed  an 
unexpected  magnanimity.  He  refused  to  regard  Mr. 
Fitzjames's  act  as  one  that  called  for  serious  treatment. 
It  was  the  unreflecting  step  of  a  boy  who,  Lord  Dungan 
could  not  forget,  was  also  the  son  of  his  King.  As  far  as  he 
was  concerned  then,  he  would  treat  the  incident  as  if  it  had 
never  occurred.  D'Avaux,  who  records  the  incident,  gives 
the  Grand  Prior  a  very  bad  character,  stating  that  he  was 
"  a  very  debauched  young  man,  drinking  brandy  all  the 
day,  and  unable  for  a  long  time  at  a  stretch  to  mount  his 
horse  through  intoxication."  In  this  case  perhaps  D'Avaux 
was  a  little  too  severe,  as  we  may  have  better  means  of 
judging  when  we  meet  the  younger  Fitzjames  later  on  at 
St.  Germains.  But  attention  may  be  called  to  the  curious 
coincidence  that  the  widow  of  the  young  Lord  Grand 
Prior,  who  championed  the  first  Duke  of  Melfort,  was  to 
marry  the  second  Duke  of  Melfort,  and  that  Lord  Dungan 

THE   CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  133 

and  Fitzjames  may  have  ridden  in  some  of  those  cavalry 
charges  at  the  Boyne  from  which  the  elder  did  not  return. 

The  King  of  France  having  decided  at  last  to  send 
troops  to  Ireland,  it  might  have  been  thought  that  he 
would  spare  no  pains  to  see  that  they  left  in  such  a  state  as 
should  ensure  the  best  results  for  himself.  Under  ordinary 
circumstances  the  commanding  officer  would  have  seen  to 
this  himself  in  conjunction  with  the  Ministers  Louvois  and 
the  young  Colbert,  and  all  would  have  gone  off  satisfactorily. 
In  the  wars  of  the  first  half  of  Louis's  long  reign,  only 
generals  of  proved  merit  were  given  commands.  We  have 
now  reached  the  period  when  the  Great  Monarch,  satiated 
with  success,  seemed  to  think  that  victory  would  always 
come  at  his  command,  and  that  a  courtier  might  be  just  as 
useful  in  the  field  as  a  trained  general.  Lauzun  was  the 
first  of  these  later  strategists  of  the  boudoir  who  between 
them  were  to  destroy  the  talisman  of  success  so  long  in 
Louis's  possession,  and  his  personal  triumph  was  the  more 
remarkable  because  to  a  certain  extent  he  had  forced  Louis 
to  give  him  the  command.  Circumstances  had  aided  him, 
Queen  Mary  had  aided  him,  so  had  Madame  de  Maintenon, 
and  le  triste  personnage  of  Louvois,  "  that  Lauzun  little  in 
mind  and  little  in  body  "  of  Count  Rabutin,  was  entrusted 
with  the  command  of  the  first  French  expedition  sent  across 
the  English  Channel  since  Louis  VI  besieged  Dover.  Every 
one  marvelled  by  what  dexterity  he  had  got  himself  into 
the  post ;  no  one  presumed  on  the  expedition  succeeding 
because  he  had  got  it. 

But  while  Court  circles  marvelled  and  speculated,  there 
was  one  personage,  the  Minister  Louvois,  who  bitterly 
resented  the  appointment  of  Lauzun.  He  had  the  greatest 
contempt  for  the  adventurer,  and  he  was  never  at  any 
pains  to  conceal  it.  The  success  of  the  expedition  depended 
on  the  way  in  which  it  was  equipped  as  much  as  on  the 
manner  in  which  it  was  led.  There  is  no  reason  to  believe 
that  Louvois  went  so  far  as  to  withhold  what  was  asked  for, 
but  Lauzun  did  not  know  what  to  ask  for,  and  Louvois 

134          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

did  not  trouble  himself  to  supply  what  the  ignorance  of 
the  applicant  did  not  comprehend.  Besides,  James  had 
asked  for  a  great  deal  more  than  the  French  troops.  He 
wanted  arms,  supplies  of  all  kinds,  and  money.  The 
following  list  of  his  requests  cannot  be  said  to  err  on  the 
side  of  lack  of  comprehensiveness. 

(OCTOBER,  1689) 

6000  French  infantry  armed  and  with  their  tents. 

A  sum  of  money  (unspecified). 

1000  barrels  of  powder  containing  100  Ibs.  each,  ball,  tinder,  etc., 

in  a  corresponding  quantity. 
10,000  grenades. 
12,000  muskets. 
3000  firelocks. 
13,000  bandoliers. 
Train  of  artillery  with  officers. 
Some  Surgeons  and  Armourers. 
Bridges  and  material. 

It  is  difficult  to  state  what  part  of  the  stores  and  arms 
requested  ever  left  France  or  reached  Ireland,  for  at  least 
one  ship  laden  with  muskets  and  powder  was  captured  by  an 
English  cruiser  ;  but  certainly  there  were  many  gaps  in  the 
list.  The  Irish  acknowledgment  of  the  stores  that  came 
with  Lauzun's  expedition  reads  somewhat  indefinitely,  as 
"  twenty-two  pieces  of  cannon  for  the  field,  three  hundred 
bombs  of  different  sizes,  six  thousand  grenades,  a  great 
quantity  of  ball  of  all  sorts,  and  of  arms  and  other  neces- 
saries for  the  troops,  Irish  as  well  as  French."  But  there 
was  certainly  a  great  deficiency  of  powder,  for  the  French 
authorities  could  not  believe  the  fact  that  there  was  no 
saltpetre  in  Ireland  ;  and  with  regard  to  the  muskets  only  a 
small  number  was  sent,  because  deduction  was  made  from. 
James's  request  of  the  7000  supposed  to  be  possessed  by  the 
Mountcashell  brigade,  which  was  dispensed  from  bringing 
arms  into  France.  It  never  entered  the  heads  of  the 
French  magnates  that  that  brigade  was  an  unarmed  force, 

THE   CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  135 

and  that  if  it  had  been  made  a  condition  that  it  should  come 
"  arms  in  hand  "  it  would  never  have  sailed  from  Ireland. 

But  the  main  request  of  all  was  complied  with  in  its 
entirety.  The  6000  French  infantry  were  detached  from 
the  army  in  Flanders,  where  the  withdrawal  of  William's 
best  Dutch  troops  to  England  had  undoubtedly  weakened 
the  forces  of  the  Allies,  and,  indeed,  it  is  proof  that  France 
then  possessed  no  transcendent  military  genius,  or  he  would 
have  overwhelmed  the  enemy  in  the  Netherlands.  They 
were  excellent  and  veteran  battalions  too,  not  the  ordinary 
French  line  regiment.  Louis  himself  had  once  drawn  up  a 
standard  of  comparison  in  his  own  army,  and  he  had 
valued  a  Swiss  battalion  as  equal  to  four,  and  an  Italian, 
English,  or  Scottish  to  two  battalions  of  the  French  line. 
The  troops  he  sent  to  Ireland  were  of  this  higher  category. 
They  were  mainly  Swiss,  Flemish  and  Walloon,  the 
French  element  was  practically  non-represented  ;  but  on  the 
other  hand  there  were  no  better  troops  for  stern  righting 
and  the  hard  work  of  a  campaign  to  be  found  in  France. 

The  seven  battalions,  each  of  which  ought  to  have 
numbered  no  less  than  1000  men,  were  those  of  Famechon, 
Zurlauben  (2),  Forest,  Courtassier,  Lamarche  and  Merode. 

Name  of  Regiment  Officers  Men 

Lamarche  47  1050 

Tournaisis  (Courtassier)  47  1050 

Famechon  55  1000 

Forest  47  1050 

Merode  55  800 

Zurlauben  (2)  90  2000 

341  6950 

There  were  also  six  artillery  officers  and  sixty-one  super- 
numeraries, including  medical  staff,  and  intendants  of  stores. 

The  totals  quoted  give  the  paper  strength  of  the  respec- 
tive regiments ;  but  the  returns  of  the  number  of  troops 
who  sailed  from  Brest  with  Lauzun  show  a  total  of  officers 
and  men  for  the  seven  battalions  of  6547. 

Nor  did  the  French  King  fail  to  send  some  good  general 

136          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

officers.  The  Marquis  Lery  de  Girardin,  one  of  the  best 
cavalry  leaders  in  the  French  army,  was  appointed  second  in 
command  under  Lauzun  with  the  rank  of  Lieutenant- 
General,  and  the  Marquis  de  la  Hoguette,  reputed  to  be  one 
of  the  bravest  generals  of  junior  rank  in  the  French  service, 
accompanied  them  as  Marechal  de  Camp.  The  French 
troops,  however,  were  accompanied  not,  as  Dangeau 
expected,  "  by  1700  Irish  soldiers,"  but  "  by  three  or  four 
hundred  Irish  and  a  few  English."  Finally,  a  strong  pro- 
tecting squadron  of  forty-one  warships  was  got  together  at 
Brest,  and  placed  under  the  command  of  Gabaret  and 
Amfreville.  While  the  French  battalions  were  being  got 
ready  for  their  voyage  from  Brest,  we  must  describe  some 
occurrences  in  Ireland  which  were  symptomatic  of  what 
was  to  follow. 

The  autumn  campaign  of  1689,  for  no  better  reason 
perhaps  than  that  it  had  been  free  of  distinct  reverse,  had 
left  the  impression  that  James's  chances  were  far  from 
hopeless.  The  events  of  the  winter  were  to  modify  this 
impression  and  to  revive  despondency.  The  first  incident 
occurred  at  Newry,  an  open  town  held  by  a  few  of  Schom- 
berg's  troops.  Boisseleau  sent  Captain  Christopher  Plunkett 
with  a  party  of  grenadiers  to  seize  it,  which  was  not  very 
difficult.  But  for  some  unknown  reason  Boisseleau  became 
alarmed  for  either  the  safety  of  this  detachment  or  his  own 
security,  and  sent  a  message  peremptorily  recalling  Plunkett 
at  once.  This  was  particularly  annoying  for  the  Irish 
captain,  as  he  had  located  a  good  deal  of  spoil  in  Newry,  all 
of  which  he  had  to  leave  behind.  An  extraordinarily 
magnified  report  of  this  affair  reached  Paris,  from  which  it 
appeared  that  "  Boisseleau  had  beaten  an  English  force, 
captured  the  Lord  who  commanded  it  and  killed  six 
English  captains."  The  Paris  world  needed  something 
definite  to  substantiate  Sir  George  Porter's  fairy  tales  that 
"  James  had  28,000  good  troops  and  would  be  ready  to 
invade  England  in  the  spring  "  ;  and  the  Newry  bulletin 
was  one  of  the  encouraging  incidents  put  in  circulation. 

THE    CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  137 

A  few  weeks  after  the  Newry  affair  a  small  force  was  sent, 
under  Brigadier  Patrick  Nugent,  to  attack  Nenagh  Castle 
in  County  Longford.  It  belonged  to  Sir  Thomas  New- 
comen,  who  had  raised  a  regiment  for  William  of  Orange, 
which  was  in  Schomberg's  camp.  The  castle  was  held  in 
his  absence  by  his  wife  and  a  small  garrison.  Nugent  made 
some  demonstration  before  Nenagh,  and  the  garrison 
marched  out  with  the  honours  of  war,  Lady  Newcomen 
riding  at  the  head  of  her  men.  There  was  not  the  smallest 
good  to  be  gained  from  this  sort  of  demonstration,  and  it 
had  not  even  the  excuse  of  the  MacMahon  "  criaghts  " 
(irregulars  or  rapparees),  who  indulged  in  raids  and  forays 
for  the  purpose  of  acquiring  arms.  Lady  Newcomen's 
garrison  carried  off  theirs  in  glory. 

The  provocations  at  Newry  and  Nenagh  stirred  Schom- 
berg  to  action,  and  it  was  to  be  to  some  effect.  In  February 
he  moved  a  strong  party  composed  of  the  Enniskilleners 
and  some  English  troops  to  Cavan  with  orders  to  seize  and 
hold  that  place  at  all  costs.  The  command  was  given  to 
Brigadier  William  Wolseley,  whose  views  about  the  Irish 
problem  were  summed  up  in  his  favourite  sentence,  "  An 
Irishman  is  only  to  be  taught  his  duty  by  the  stick."  As  an 
officer  he  was  very  alert  and  his  troops  were  excellent. 
D'Avaux  knew  perfectly  well  what  he  was  writing  about 
when  he  said,  "  Ulstermen  are  beyond  question  the  best  of 
the  Irish  troops,"  and  they  were  the  substance  of  Wolseley's 

The  Jacobite  commander  at  Cavan  was  Major-General 
John  Wauchope,  a  Scot  who  had  been  an  officer  in  the  Guards 
in  London,  and  who  owed  his  advance  to  his  friends  and 
kinsmen  the  Drummonds  and  Lord  Middleton.  He  was  in 
favour  with  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  who  had  given  him  the 
command  at  Cavan  because  he  trusted  his  judgment.  At 
the  same  time  the  Duke  says  in  his  Memoirs  that  he  charged 
him  to  be  on  the  look-out  and  to  keep  parties  out  lest  an 
attempt  should  be  made  to  surprise  him.  Wauchope 
replied,  "  All  right,"  and  for  a  time  there  seemed  no  reason 

138          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

to  apprehend  attack  in  this  quarter.  But  in  February 
Wolseley  moved  rapidly  from  Belturbet,  and  after  some 
close  fighting  captured  the  town  of  Cavan  and  destroyed  a 
large  quantity  of  stores  and  powder  in  the  place.  The 
success  was  the  greater  because  the  Duke  of  Berwick, 
getting  wind  of  the  enemy's  march,  made  a  dash  with 
cavalry  and  dragoons  to  help  Wauchope.  He  arrived  in 
time  to  take  part  in  the  fight,  and  had  a  horse  killed  under 
him  ;  but  the  result  of  the  skirmish  was  distinctly  a  reverse 
to  the  royal  arms,  which  was  rendered  all  the  greater  by  the 
loss  of  several  good  officers.  Wolseley  was  not  able  to 
retain  the  town  because  the  castle  remained  in  Wauchope's 
possession,  but  he  destroyed  the  magazine  which  had  been 
carefully  prepared  in  the  town  itself  as  a  base  for  future 
operations.  The  Irish  lost  over  200  killed,  including 
Brigadier  Patrick  Nugent,  and  ten  of  their  officers  besides 
were  taken  prisoners.  Wolseley  lost  fifty  killed  and  sixty 
wounded,  besides  three  officers  killed,  Major  Trahern, 
Captains  Armstrong  and  Mayo. 

It  was  soon  after  this  incident  that  Lauzun  landed,  but 
while  he  was  still  endeavouring  to  get  his  troops  conveyed 
with  their  impedimenta  to  Dublin,  Schomberg  opened  the 
campaign  by  attacking  Charlemont.  This  place  was  called  a 
royal  fortress,  but  in  reality  it  was  no  more  than  a  mediaeval 
castle  surrounded  by  a  ditch.  It  was  scantily  provided  with 
provisions,  and  the  garrison  numbered  about  1000  men, 
commanded  by  Sir  Thady  O'Regan.  The  explanation  of 
there  being  insufficient  food  in  the  place  was  given  by  some 
as  an  instance  of  Melfort's  neglect,  which  was  rather  far- 
fetched, seeing  that  he  had  left  Ireland  six  months  before. 
A  more  plausible  theory  assigned  it  to  there  being  no  salt 
in  Ireland,  so  that  meat  could  not  be  cured.  But  perhaps 
the  truth  lay  in  the  circumstance  that  the  garrison  was 
much  too  large  for  the  dimensions  of  the  place,  and  after  an 
honourable  defence  of  three  weeks,  during  which  every 
living  thing,  including  rats  and  mice,  was  eaten  up,  Sir 
Thady  O'Regan  surrendered  on  honourable  terms. 

THE    CAMPAIGNS   OF    1689-90  139 

Having  had  his  farewell  audience  of  Louis  at  Marly  on 
February  15,  Lauzun  posted  to  Brest.  A  favourable  wind 
did  not  arise  till  March  17,  the  first  anniversary  of  James's 
own  departure,  and  it  was  noticed  as  a  curious  coincidence 
that  the  fleet  reached  Cork  on  the  22nd  of  the  same  month, 
exactly  one  year  after  the  King's  landing  at  Kingsale.  The 
situation  was  reproduced  in  another  and  unfavourable 
sense.  Lauzun,  like  the  King,  found  no  measures  taken  for 
his  reception.  There  were  no  carriages  or  carts,  no  horses 
or  oxen,  and  the  roads  were  like  the  tracks  of  a  farm-yard. 
James  in  his  after  apology  throws  the  blame  on  Lord  Dover, 
whom  he  had  appointed  Intendant-General  at  Cork,  and 
excuses  himself  by  saying  that  he  had  only  poor  tools  for 
his  service.  Lord  Dover  and  Lauzun  had  been  friends,  but 
the  Frenchman  was  so  angry  with  his  reception  that  he 
quarrelled  with  him,  and  thus  the  situation  became  worse. 
The  French  army  that  was  to  turn  the  day  against  the 
enemy  was  fairly  hung  up  half  on  shipboard  because  it 
could  not  be  fed  on  land,  and  half  on  land  clamouring  to 
get  back  to  the  ships  in  order  to  be  fed.  It  was  a  bad  start. 

The  end  of  Lord  Dover's  connection  with  the  Stuarts 
may  be  described.  James  had  created  him  Earl  of  Dover, 
but  this  title  was  one  of  those  never  recognised  in  England. 
On  arriving  in  Dublin  Lauzun  made  a  formal  complaint 
against  Lord  Dover  for  his  neglect  at  Cork.  James  sought 
the  easiest  way  out  of  his  troubles  by  giving  Dover  a  pass 
to  go  to  England,  where  he  made  his  peace  with  William,  and 
a  few  years  later  succeeded  his  elder  brother  as  Baron 
Jermyn.  The  French  were  very  much  disgusted  at  this 
way  of  dealing  with  a  man  who  had  shown  inexcusable 
incompetence  and  neglect  of  duty.  The  Marquis  Sourches 
expressed  the  general  opinion  that  Lord  Dover  should  have 
been  executed  as  a  traitor.  The  Stuarts  owed  much  of 
their  troubles  to  ill-placed  lenity. 

Admiral  Gabaret  had  also  his  orders  to  adhere  to.  They 
were  to  land  the  troops  and  the  stores,  to  take  the  Irish  regi- 
ment on  board,  to  provide  accommodation  for  Count 

140          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

D'Avaux,  General  Roze  (whose  Marshalship  expired  with 
his  leaving  Ireland),  Count  de  Gace  and  a  few  others,  and  to 
return  at  once  to  Brest.  "  At  once  "  meant  by  the  next 
favourable  wind  for  France.  With  a  considerable  English 
fleet  at  anchor  off  Torbay  it  was  perilous  to  leave  the  French 
coast  unguarded  for  any  length  of  time,  and  Cabaret  was 
anxious  to  be  gone.  At  this  juncture  pressing  letters  came 
from  King  James  urging  Cabaret  to  defer  his  departure 
and  undertake  a  separate  adventure,  for  which  James  pro- 
mised him  much  honour  and  glory.  The  adventure  was  to 
sail  up  the  Irish  Sea,  and  to  prevent  the  departure  of,  or 
cut  up,  William's  squadron  and  fleet  of  transports,  which, 
by  all  accounts,  were  about  to  convey  the  host  that  William 
had  levied  with  the  intention  of  conquering  Ireland.  In 
October,  1689,  James  asked  for  6000  French  troops  to  drive 
Schomberg  into  the  sea  ;  in  March,  1690,  they  have  come, 
but  he  then  sees  that  they  will  not  be  enough  to  deal  with 
William  of  Orange.  Then,  regardless  of  Louis's  own  needs, 
of  Cabaret's  duty,  he  proposes  that  the  French  fleet  shall 
sail  up  a  dangerous  and  little  known  sea  possessing  no 
harbours  or  arsenals,  and  risk  its  existence  in  carrying  out 
his  paper  plan  of  preventing  William  landing  at  Carrick- 
fergus.  And  because  James's  appeal  was  not  so  much  as 
listened  to,  and  only  served  to  hurry  Cabaret's  departure, 
it  was  alleged  that  the  generous  help  of  the  French  King, 
which  was  ample  if  properly  utilised  to  effect  the  pacifica- 
tion of  Ireland  and  never  intended  for  chimerical  adven- 
tures in  England,  was  niggardly  and  begrudged.  James's 
plans  on  the  map  were  lauded  to  the  skies  by  his  courtiers 
as  masterstrokes  of  strategy,  whereas  they  were,  in  truth, 
simply  impracticable.  The  Royal  apologia  for  the  failure 
in  Ireland  is  not  the  least  typical  instance  of  the  ingratitude 
of  the  Stuarts  to  those  who  devoted  themselves  to  their 
interests,  for  of  all  the  loyal  champions  of  their  cause 
Louis  XIV  is  entitled  to  the  first  place. 

There  were  others  anxious  to  be  gone  besides  Cabaret. 
D'Avaux  had  succeeded  after  many  difficulties  and  dis- 

THE    CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  141 

appointments,  still  to  be  described,  in  getting  his  Irish 
regiments  together.  All  he  thought  of  was  hurrying  them 
on  board  before  they  turned  home-sick.  Perhaps  he  had  a 
vague  apprehension  that  James  might  countermand  their 
departure  on  the  plea  of  the  increased  danger  arising  from 
the  approach  of  William  of  Orange.  From  the  French 
ambassador,  then,  Cabaret  got  no  encouragement  to  linger. 
If  D'Avaux  could  have  controlled  the  winds  there  would 
have  been  but  little  delay,  for  he  had  the  five  regiments  on 
board  for  the  first  time  on  April  i,  ten  days  only  after 
Cabaret  entered  Cork  harbour.  Between  that  and  the  i8th 
of  the  month  there  were  frequent  embarcations  and  dis- 
embarcations,  but  at  last,  on  the  latter  date,  the  wind  served 
and  the  French  fleet  sailed  away  with  what  was  destined  to 
become  the  first  detachment  of  the  Irish  Brigade  in  the 
service  of  France. 

Meanwhile,  Lauzun  had  reached  Dublin,  and  the  French 
regiments  followed  as  rapidly  as  they  could  over  bad  roads 
to  pitch  the  tents,  with  which  they  had  come  provided,  on 
the  Curragh  of  Kildare.  If  Lauzun  had  been  a  great 
commander  he  would  still  have  found  it  difficult,  on  the 
spur  of  the  moment,  to  form  any  plan  that  would  be  at  all 
likely  to  meet  the  many  perils  of  the  situation.  The  Irish 
army  was  scattered  in  a  number  of  small  garrisons,  and 
although  orders  were  issued  at  the  end  of  April  for  a  great 
part  of  it  to  assemble  at  Dundalk,  it  was  certain  that  that 
could  not  be  carried  out  for  several  weeks.  In  the  meantime 
Schomberg  had  captured  Charlemont,  got  his  troops  out  of 
their  winter  lethargy  and  was  fairly  on  the  move.  James, 
instead  of  getting  everything  ready,  had  been  simply 
waiting  for  the  French. 

The  whole  of  May  and  the  greater  part  of  June  were 
absorbed  in  the  task  of  gradually  getting  together  an  Irish 
army  of  20,000  men  at  Dundalk.  De  Gace  assured  King 
Louis,  when  received  at  Versailles  on  May  10,  that  "  James 
had  30,000  good  troops,  although  there  was  a  deficiency  in 
the  supply  of  horses  for  the  cavalry."  Porter  put  them  at 

142  THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

28,000,  and  the  lowest  estimate  was  that  25,000  good  troops 
would  be  found  north  of  the  Boyne.  When  James  rode 
into  his  camp  on  June  26  (N.S.)  to  inspect  his  army  he  found 
no  more  than  20,000.  As  an  instance  of  the  delay  in 
assembling  the  Irish  army  it  may  be  mentioned  that 
Sarsfield  only  reached  the  Boyne  on  July  4. 

Two  days  before  James's  arrival  at  Dundalk,  William  of 
Orange  landed  at  Carrickfergus,  bringing  with  him  at  least 
20,000  regular  troops  and  a  large  train  of  artillery.  The 
Protestant  army  united  mustered  not  less  than  36,000  men, 
as  William,  resolved  not  to  throw  a  chance  away,  called  in 
all  the  outlying  garrisons  at  Deny,  Enniskillen,  Newry,  and 
elsewhere.  The  French  reports  written  prior  to  the  battle 
give  William  a  total  force  of  9030  cavalry,  3080  dragoons, 
and  42,154  infantry,  or  over  54,000  altogether.  It  seems 
probable  that  the  French  reporters  did  not  allow  for  the 
diminution  in  Schomberg's  force  during  the  winter. 

North  of  Dundalk  the  road  is  carried  through  a  marshy 
region  over  a  long  causeway,  and  at  the  southern  extremity 
is  a  pass,  known  as  "  the  four-mile  pass,"  that  presents 
many  advantages  for  defence  to  the  holder.  If  James's 
army  had  occupied  this  position  in  force  it  would  have  been 
in  a  very  advantageous  situation  to  defend  itself,  and  the 
probability  is  that  William  would  have  been  compelled  to 
abandon  the  coast  road  and  to  advance  by  one  of  the  inner 
roads  from  Armagh,  which  would  necessarily  be  a  slower 
and  riskier  proceeding.  The  advantages  of  this  position 
were  not  unknown  because  it  had  been  occupied  during  the 
previous  campaign  with  Schomberg,  and  on  the  present 
occasion  James  sent  a  small  party  to  seize  the  pass,  or  rather 
the  southern  end  of  it ;  and  everybody  in  the  army  under- 
stood that  they  were  to  move  forward  to  occupy  it  in  force 
on  the  following  day.  The  Marquis  Girardin,  reporting  on 
the  battle  of  the  Boyne,  affirmed  that  the  campaign  was 
lost  through  the  fatal  decision  not  to  hold  this  strong 

The  advance  party  consisted  of  the  grenadier  companies 

THE    CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  143 

of  four  regiments,  commanded  by  Colonel  Fitzgerald,  of 
Lord  Bellew's  regiment,  and  of  sixty  mounted  dragoons 
under  Colonel  Lawrence  Dempsey.  On  arrival  they  found 
that  the  other  end  of  the  pass  was  held  by  a  party  of  about 
300  English  infantry  and  dragoons,  which  had  been  sent  to 
reconnoitre  James's  camp  and  obtain  some  information  as 
to  the  number  of  troops  in  it. 

The  two  parties  were  not  long  in  coming  into  collision, 
and  after  a  fierce  little  encounter  the  English  were  driven 
back  with  a  loss  of  thirty  killed  and  two  officers  prisoners. 
On  the  Irish  side  ten  men  were  killed  and  Colonel  Dempsey 
was  mortally  wounded.  He  died  at  Oldbridge,  on  the 
Boyne,  a  few  days  later,  and  his  loss  was  not  inconsiderable, 
for  he  was  an  experienced  officer  who  had  gained  much 
distinction  in  the  Portuguese  army.  But  the  really  calami- 
tous part  of  the  affair  was  the  capture  of  Captain  Farlow, 
who  had  been  known  to  James  in  the  old  days  at  Whitehall. 

James  sent  for  him  and  had  a  long  talk  with  him,  and 
Farlow  supplied  the  King  with  as  much  information  as  he 
asked  for.  According  to  this  shrewd  officer,  who  had 
reason  to  remember  the  peril  of  the  narrow  way,  William 
had  50,000  troops,  all  highly  disciplined  and  many  of  them 
veterans.  Among  them  were  15,000  cavalry,  and  the 
artillery  numbered  thirty  field-pieces.  The  fleet,  he  added, 
had  orders  to  coast  down  to  Drogheda  and  lend  the  land 
forces  a  helping  hand.  As  James  heard  these  details  his 
courage  sank,  and  he  at  once  gave  orders  to  break  up  the 
camp  and  retreat  for  the  Boyne.  Captain  Farlow  must  have 
felt  some  consolation  for  his  bad  luck  in  Four  Mile  Pass  in 
the  consequences  of  the  picture  he  drew  before  the  mind 
of  the  timid  King. 

James  was  quite  justified  in  his  decision  to  retreat  by 
a  fair  comparison  between  his  army  and  that  of  William  of 
Orange,  and  if  he  had  really  retreated  no  one  could  have 
thrown  a  stone  at  him,  and  the  result  of  the  war  might  have 
been  very  different.  But  to  run  away  from  a  good  position 
only  to  fight  a  few  days  later  in  a  bad  one  is  not  to  be  ex- 

144          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

plained  by  common  sense  or  any  of  the  canons  of  the  art  of 
war.  James  at  Farlow's  story  works  himself  into  a  state 
of  funk  and  runs  away.  Then,  thinking  it  over,  he  reflects 
on  the  line  of  march  that  thrones  are  not  recovered  without 
risking  something,  and  he  decides  to  stand  his  ground  and  to 
fight.  Throughout  all  these  changes  of  view  in  the  crisis 
of  his  struggle  he  could  not  find  a  definite  plan,  and  there 
was  no  one  to  supply  him  with  one.  Certainly  it  was  not 
Lauzun  who,  as  Berwick  said  of  him,  "  has  quite  forgotten 
all  his  military  knowledge  if  he  ever  possessed  any." 

From  Dundalk  James  moved  to  Ardee  and  then  to  the 
Boyne.  His  army  crossed  that  river  on  July  9  (N.S.),  his 
infantry  passing  through  Drogheda  and  his  cavalry  by  the 
ford  at  Oldbridge.  Having  reached  the  southern  side  of  the 
river  James's  courage  returned,  and  it  was  given  out  that 
the  King  would  there  await  the  onset  of  his  enemy.  In 
all  these  matters  James  decided  for  himself.  Lauzun 
was  apathetic  and  indifferent.  Tyrconnell  was  in  favour 
of  making  a  fight  of  it,  Sarsfield  and  the  other  Irish  leaders 
had  wished  to  make  the  stand  at  Dundalk,  but  they  were 
not  unwilling  that  it  should  be  made  on  the  Boyne.  Even 
the  cautious  Berwick  was  not  averse  to  the  attempt  to 
defend  the  passage  of  the  river. 

James's  own  version  is  contained  in  his  Memoir  :  "  What 
induced  the  King  to  hazard  a  battle  on  this  inequality  was 
that  if  he  did  it  not  there  he  must  lose  all  without  a  stroke, 
and  be  obliged  to  quit  Dublin  and  all  Munster  and  retire 
behind  the  Shannon  and  so  be  reduced  to  the  Province  of 
Connaught,  where  having  no  magazines  he  could  not 
subsist  very  long,  it  being  the  worst  corn  country  in  Ireland. 
Besides,  his  men  seemed  desirous  to  fight,  and  being  new 
raised  would  have  been  disheartened  still  to  retire  before 
the  enemy  and  see  all  their  country  taken  from  them 
without  one  blow  for  it,  and  by  consequence  be  apt  to 
disperse  and  give  all  for  lost." 

James  had  got  himself  into  such  a  position  that  he  must 
either  fight  a  battle  or  evacuate  Dublin,  and  it  was  his 

THE   CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  145 

realisation  of  what  life  in  Ireland  would  be  out  of  Dublin 
that  drove  him  to  the  desperate  course  of  fighting  an  army 
immeasurably  superior  to  his  own.  But  of  course  that 
does  not  justify  his  conduct.  Under  the  circumstances 
there  was  no  other  prudent  course  open  to  him  than 
to  leave  Dublin  to  its  fate,  and  to  retire  without  fight- 
ing into  the  interior  of  the  country.  If  he  had  fallen 
back  on  Athlone  and  secured  the  line  of  the  Shannon,  all 
the  strategical  advantages  would  have  been  on  his  side  and 
not  with  the  Prince  of  Orange.  Besides,  William  could  not 
remain  long  in  Ireland.  A  short,  decisive  campaign  was 
essential  to  him.  Whereas  James,  if  he  had  cared  to  do  so, 
might  have  passed  the  rest  of  his  life  in  Ireland,  William 
could  be  absent  for  only  a  few  weeks,  or  at  the  longest  a  few 
months,  from  England  ;  and  with  the  Irish  army  that  fought 
at  the  Boyne  preserved  intact  James  might  have  prolonged 
the  struggle,  which  continued  as  it  was  for  eighteen  months 
after  his  flight,  for  a  very  long  period  indeed. 

When  James  gives  as  a  reason  for  fighting  the  small 
resources  of  Western  Ireland  he  overlooks  the  fact  that  that 
would  have  been  a  further  obstacle  in  William's  path.  The 
Prince  of  Orange,  thanks  to  the  Boyne,  got  to  the  walls  of 
Limerick,  but  his  experience  there  was  not  of  a  nature  to 
make  us  hesitate  in  saying  that  he  would  never  have  got 
there  at  all  if  Fabian  tactics  had  been  resorted  to  at  the 
beginning  of  July,  1690.  But  it  would  have  been  un- 
reasonable to  expect  in  the  King's  apologia  the  true  reason 
for  his  decision.  The  list  contains  many  reasons,  but  the 
true  one  is  left  out. 

We  have  seen  from  the  first  that  James's  heart  was  not  in 
the  Irish  adventure.  He  was  ever  regretting  that  he  had 
come  to  Ireland  at  all,  and  the  latest  letters  from  the  Queen 
were  full  of  forebodings  that  he  might  be  detained  there 
for  ever.  Any  decent  excuse,  then,  to  leave  it  would  seem 
preferable  in  such  a  frame  of  mind  to  taking  a  firm  resolu- 
tion for  the  prudent  conduct  of  the  war  which  would 
entail  his  remaining  indefinitely  in  an  unattractive  country. 

146          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

But  the  prospect  became  even  worse,  when  for  the  com- 
parative civilisation  of  Dublin  there  had  to  be  substituted 
the  wild  region  of  Western  Ireland.  James  found  the  out- 
look exceedingly  uninviting.  He  had  made  no  friends 
among  the  Irish  nobles.  He  took  none  of  them  into  his 
counsels.  Even  Tyrconnell,  who  knew  Whitehall  and  was 
a  courtier,  represented  a  waning  influence.  The  only- 
men  in  whom  he  really  confided  were  Powis,  Thomas 
Howard,  the  Chief  Justice  Herbert,  Gosforth,  the  Chan- 
cellor, all  Englishmen,  who  knew  nothing  about  Ireland,  and 
thought  solely  of  a  royal  restoration  in  London.  Not  to 
fight,  then,  meant  an  indefinitely  long  stay  in  Ireland  ; 
while  to  fight  would  end  the  matter  one  way  or  the  other. 
Personal  comfort,  the  desire  to  have  an  end  put  to  an 
uncongenial  task,  had  far  more  to  do  with  James's  pro- 
ceedings at  this  juncture  than  prudence,  military  knowledge 
or  even  common  sense. 

There  was  another  explanation  of  James  being  left  to 
have  his  own  way  with  regard  to  the  fatal  decision  to  make  a 
stand  at  the  Boyne.  Among  the  generals  on  his  Council  of 
War,  there  was  not  one  competent  or  qualified  to  give  him 
advice.  Lauzun  was  already  treated  with  contempt  as  a 
mere  cypher,  and  the  French  generals  who  had  come  with 
him  had  not  yet  measured  the  situation.  D'Escots,  a  man  of 
promise,  had  died  suddenly.  Girardin,  or  Lery,  as  he  was 
sometimes  called,  was  only  a  cavalry  leader.  La  Hoguette 
had  no  local  knowledge.  When  James  expressed  an  opinion, 
therefore,  it  was  repeated  by  all. 

None  of  the  Irish  leaders  had  any  influence.  Sarsfield, 
the  ablest  of  them,  was  already  at  loggerheads  with  the 
Stuarts.  "  A  very  brave  man,  no  doubt,"  said  James, 
"  but  with  no  headpiece."  Berwick  repeats  or  perhaps 
inspired  this  view,  and  says  later  on  in  his  Memoirs  that 
"  Sarsfield  imagined  himself  to  be  a  great  general."  Per- 
haps it  would  have  been  well  if  Berwick  had  known  in  turn 
what  D'Avaux  had  written  about  him,  "  a  very  brave  man, 
but  a  bad  officer,  and  with  no  common  sense."  Certainly 

THE    CAMPAIGNS    OF    1689-90  147 

there  was  nothing  in  Berwick's  conduct  in  Ireland  to 
reveal  the  future  victor  of  Almanza,  and  the  general  who 
was  said  never  to  have  lost  a  battle. 

But  the  great  defect  of  Sarsfield  in  the  eyes  of  the 
Stuarts  was  that  he  was  a  leader  of  the  Irish.  "  He  has  more 
influence  in  this  country  than  all  the  others  put  together," 
D'Avaux  had  written  some  months  earlier.  Now  whatever 
else  James  had  failed  to  learn  during  his  stay  in  Ireland  he 
had  at  least  got  some  first-hand  information  about  the 
Irish  problem,  and  he  knew  beyond  possibility  of  self- 
deception  that  the  uppermost  wish  of  every  Irishman  was 
to  be  independent  of  and  separated  from  England.  That 
was  a  project  with  which  James  had  no  sympathy.  He  was 
essentially  a  Unionist  who  believed  in  the  inviolable  unity 
of  the  Empire. 

Whether  their  schemes  were  feasible  under  any  circum- 
stances may  be  left  to  the  reader's  independent  judgment, 
but  that  they  should  find  an  opponent  in  King  James  was 
certainly  not  the  way  to  make  the  Stuarts  popular  in 
Ireland.  Long  before  the  Boyne  enthusiasm  for  James  had 
waned.  More  and  more  clearly  did  it  stand  revealed  that 
the  Irish  were  fighting  for  their  own  ends,  and  not  for  the 
recovery  of  his  throne.  Even  Tyrconnell  had  declared 
during  the  crisis  of  the  Melfort  dispute  that  it  would 
be  better  "  for  King  James  to  go  back  to  France  and 
leave  us  to  fight  our  battles  in  our  own  way  and  for  our 
own  ends."  .  Sarsfield  went  even  farther.  He  was  openly 
in  favour  of  a  national  Government  in  Ireland  with  a 
regular  alliance  with  France.  The  feelings  of  the  leaders 
in  the  Jacobite  camp  on  the  Boyne  were  therefore  very 
mixed,  and  the  ends  of  some  of  them  would  be  served  just 
as  much  by  defeat  as  by  victory.  Defeat  would,  at  least, 
convert  a  war  in  the  Stuart  interests  into  one  for  national 

Chapter  VI 


A  WITTY  French  writer  has  observed  that  the 
fight  on  the  Boyne  would  have  only  passed  in 
history  for  a  skirmish  if  it  had  not  been  the 
nearest  approach  to  a  pitched  battle  that 
William  of  Orange  ever  won.  Without  going  so  far  as  to 
style  it  with  him  an  "  echauffouree  suivie  (Tune  deroute"  we 
need  not  hesitate  in  asserting  that  its  significance  as  a  trial 
of  strength  between  two  armed  forces  has  been  ridiculously 
exaggerated  for  party  purposes.  Neither  side  displayed  any 
generalship  to  be  proud  of,  and  it  was  no  glorious  achieve- 
ment for  36,000  completely  armed  troops  with  a  very 
considerable  artillery  of  thirty  field-pieces  to  oust  from  an 
open  position  25,000  incompletely  armed  troops  with  only 
six  small  cannon.  There  can  be  no  question  that  James 
had  no  business  to  have  fought  at  all.  His  fatal  hesitation 
in  postponing  a  decision  to  retreat  to  the  west,  left  him  no 
alternative  save  the  hopeless  course  of  trying  to  defend  a 
river  fordable  at  all  points  against  overwhelming  odds.  It 
gave  his  adversary  the  opportunity  of  scoring  a  success 
without  risks,  and  of  earning  a  cheap  renown.  It  provided 
the  excuse  for  the  celebration  of  an  anniversary  even  to  the 
present  age  of  a  so-called  triumph  of  one  Irish  party  over 
another  Irish  party,  for  which  the  facts  of  the  battle  supply 
no  justification.  Considering  that  the  battle,  such  as  it  was, 
was  won  by  Danes  and  Dutchmen,  French  Huguenots  and 
Prussian  Brandenburghers,  it  is  almost  ludicrous  to  any  one 
who  has  the  smallest  respect  for  historical  accuracy  to  see 
Orangemen  celebrating  the  anniversary  of  the  Boyne  as 

their  victory. 



No  visitor  to  the  valley  of  the  Boyne  from  Drogheda  to 
Slane  Bridge  can  have  failed  to  notice  that  the  left  bank 
completely  commands  the  right.  This  is  especially  notice- 
able above  the  ford  of  Oldbridge,  where  there  are  now  the 
fine  stone  bridge  and  the  William  Memorial.  It  was  on 
this  plateau  that  William  pitched  his  main  camp  on  July 
10  (N.S.)  (June  30,  O.S.),  1690,  with  his  left  wing  stretching 
to  the  vicinity  of  Drogheda,  held  for  James  by  a  garrison  of 
1300  men  under  Lord  Iveagh.  It  was  from  this  spot  that 
William  surveyed  the  position  of  James's  army  on  the 
opposite  bank  late  in  the  afternoon  of  the  day  of  his 
arrival,  and  it  was  here  that  he  received  the  abrasion  on  the 
shoulder  from  a  cannon  shot  which  led  to  the  circulation  of 
a  false  rumour  that  he  had  been  killed.  This  report  reached 
Paris  before  the  news  of  the  battle,  and  gave  rise  to  some 
premature  rejoicing,  including  the  lighting  of  bonfires. 
William's  comment  at  the  time  was  :  "  It  should  have 
come  nearer,"  but  the  next  day  he  wore  a  plaster  on  his 
shoulder  and  carried  the  right  arm  in  a  sling.  The  Jacobite 
gunner  was  not  many  inches  off  solving  a  grave  political 

The  River  Boyne, which  ran  at  the  foot  of  the  plateau,  was 
easily  fordable  when  the  tide  was  out,  and  even  when  it  was 
high  water  several  fords  remained  passable.  That  of 
Rossnaree,  five  miles  above  Oldbridge  and  two  miles  short 
of  Slane  Bridge,  which  had  been  broken,  was  one  available 
at  all  states  of  the  tide.  The  several  fords  at  Oldbridge  were 
quite  easy  at  half  flood,  that  lower  down  at  Donore  was  only 
available  at  low  water.  William  had,  in  Schomberg's 
opinion,  the  choice  of  two  courses :  he  might  either  attack 
and  capture  Drogheda,  making  his  crossing  at  that  place, 
or  he  might  march  up  the  river  to  Slane,  repairing  the 
bridge  there  and  crossing  by  it  and  the  ford  at  Rossnaree. 
William  did  not  adopt  either  of  his  veteran  lieutenant's 
proposals.  He  decided  that  his  army  should  cross  the  river 
at  three  separate  points,  and  that  he  would  take  advantage 
of  his  superior  numbers  to  turn  James's  flanks  both  up  and 

ISO          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

down  the  river.  He  assigned  the  command  of  the  centre 
to  the  Duke  of  Schomberg,  he  took  that  of  the  left  in  person, 
and  the  right  he  entrusted  to  Count  Meinhardt  Schomberg, 
the  Duke's  son,  to  whom  he  gave  as  Lieutenant-Generals 
the  services  of  Portland,  Albuquerque  and  the  Fleming 

The  last  force  was  the  first  to  move.  "  Before  daybreak 
on  July  ii  "  (N.S.),  according  to  Dumont,  the  right  wing 
began  its  march  up  the  river.  As  it  marched  across  fields 
it  was  assumed  that  it  would  reach  Rossnaree  about  six  in  the 
morning.  It  was  probably  a  little  later,  as  the  valley  of  the 
Boyne  was  enveloped  in  a  dense  mist  which  did  not  disperse 
till  eight  o'clock  (Dumont).  Opposite  Rossnaree,  watching 
the  ford,  was  Sir  Neil  O'Neil  at  the  head  of  the  dragoon 
regiment  bearing  his  name. 

In  order  to  distinguish  the  men  of  the  two  armies  from 
each  other — neither  side  having  a  distinct  national  colour — 
William's  troops  were  ordered  to  place  a  green  bough  or 
sprig  in  their  hats,  and  as  evidence  of  the  necessity  of  this 
precaution  in  an  army  composed  of  so  many  different  races 
and  languages  it  may  be  mentioned  that  Dumont,  in  the 
press  of  the  battle  when  the  Enniskilleners  were  driven  back, 
was  on  the  point  of  running  his  sword  through  one  of  them 
when  he  observed  the  green  spray  in  his  hat.  James's 
troops,  on  the  other  hand,  wore  pieces  of  white  paper  in 
their  hats  to  assimilate  them  to  their  French  allies,  whose 
distinguishing  mark  was  the  white  cockade.  This  practice 
was  not  introduced  for  employment  at  the  Boyne.  It  was 
in  general  use  in  the  Netherlands  by  a  tacit  understanding 
between  the  belligerents,  where  the  Dutch  and  Spanish 
troops  always  wore  green  sprigs  in  their  hats  on  the  day  of 
battle,  and  the  French  pieces  of  white  paper. 

We  may  now  turn  to  describe  the  position  of  James's 
army.  The  principal  camp,  including  the  King's  own  head- 
quarters, was  at  Ramullin  on  the  top  of  the  elevated 
ground  to  the  right  of  Oldbridge.  Here  the  hill  lies  back 
some  distance  from  the  river  bank,  and  beyond  the  reach  of 


cannon  shot  in  the  age  with  which  we  are  dealing.  In  the 
little  village  of  Oldbridge  were  placed  two  infantry  regi- 
ments— Antrim's  and  Clanrickarde's — and  on  the  extreme 
left  was  merely  the  O'Neil  dragoon  regiment  opposite 
Rossnaree.  The  bulk  of  the  army  was  drawn  up  along  the 
elevated  ground  at  a  distance  from  the  river  varying  from 
half  to  a  full  mile. 

The  position  was  absolutely  unfortified,  and  the  only 
defences  that  could  be  said  to  exist  were  the  few  cottages 
and  garden  walls  in  the  miserable  little  village  of  Old- 
bridge.  With  regard  to  numbers,  it  is  impossible  to  place 
James's  army  at  a  greater  total  strength  than  25,000  men, 
including  the  French  contingent  of  about  5500  strong. 
Neither  in  arms,  nor  in  discipline,  nor  in  experience  of  war 
could  there  be  any  comparison  between  the  two  armies. 
The  majority  of  the  Irish  infantry  had  never  heard  a  shot 
fired  in  action.  The  French  regiments  formed  a  corps 
d'elite,  but  at  their  head  was  Lauzun,  of  whom  Berwick 
said  :  "  If  he  ever  possessed  any  knowledge  of  the  military 
art  he  had  completely  forgotten  it." 

Finally,  James  had  only  eighteen  small  pieces  of  artillery 
(six-pounders),  and  of  them  only  six  took  part  in  the  battle. 
With  regard  to  the  supreme  command,  while  William 
possessed  the  experience  of  twenty  years'  campaigning, 
and  the  assistance  of  one  of  the  best  European  generals  in 
Schomberg,  the  command  of  the  Jacobite  army  rested  with 
the  King,  who,  whatever  his  knowledge  of  naval  war  might 
have  been,  knew  nothing  of  land  war,  and  whose  own  lack 
of  experience  and  skill  was  not  compensated  for  by  the 
military  ability  of  his  lieutenants  Lauzun,  Tyrconnell,  and 
Richard  Hamilton. 

During  the  evening  of  July  10  (June  30,  O.S.),  James  held 
a  Council  of  War,  and  it  was  decided,  after  the  army  had 
been  assured  that  a  stand  would  be  made,  not  to  fight,  but 
to  retreat.  Unfortunately,  this  intention  was  not  put  into 
immediate  practice.  It  was  assumed,  with  that  habitual 
procrastination  which  had  so  often  proved  fatal  to  the 

152         THE  BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

cause  of  the  Stuarts,  that  there  would  be  time  enough  in 
the  morning.  When  the  morning  arrived  the  baggage  was 
packed  up  and  sent  off  to  Dublin,  and  with  it  were  sent 
twelve  of  James's  total  of  eighteen  pieces  of  artillery.  The 
six  retained  were  those  with  the  French  contingent,  and 
thus  on  the  day  of  the  Boyne  the  Irish  army  had  not  a  single 
cannon.  Dumont  tells  us  that  when  the  sun  first  appeared 
at  eight  o'clock  they  saw  that  James's  army  had  broken 
up  their  camp  and  were  in  full  retreat.  The  effect  of  this 
spectacle  on  William  was  to  make  him  hasten  his  movements. 

He  had  intended  deferring  his  attack  until  he  had  heard 
that  his  right  wing  had  got  over  the  river  at  Rossnaree, 
and  more  particularly  until  the  ebbing  tide  had  reached  a 
point  to  make  the  ford  at  Donore  easily  practicable.  But 
the  spectacle  of  James's  retreating  army,  and  the  thought 
that  it  might  escape  and  draw  him  into  the  wilds  of  Ireland, 
were  too  much  for  his  equanimity,  and  he  ordered  Schom- 
berg  to  attack  Oldbridge,  while  he  led  off  his  cavalry  to  the 
left  with  the  intention  of  getting  it  over  the  river  at  some 
point  or  other  below  that  place. 

It  was  at  this  stage  of  the  day's  operations  that  the 
second  mistake,  which  decided  the  course  of  the  battle, 
was  made  by  the  Jacobite  commanders.  Sir  Neil  O'Neil 
had  reported  the  appearance  of  the  enemy  across  the  river  ; 
on  the  opposite  bank  the  same  sun  which  disclosed  to 
William  the  retirement  of  the  Jacobite  army  revealed  to 
James  and  Lauzun  the  movement  of  young  Schomberg's 
infantry  towards  the  right  of  William's  battle.  The 
nervous  commanders  at  once  jumped  to  the  conclusion  that 
their  left  would  be  outflanked  and  their  line  of  retreat 
menaced.  Lauzun  was  particularly  anxious  about  his 
retreat  being  kept  open,  and,  as  every  one  knows,  the  general 
who  is  always  looking  behind  him  instead  of  in  front  of  him 
never  wins  a  battle.  As  soon,  then,  as  he  saw  the  movement 
of  part  of  William's  army  up  the  river,  he  moved  off  to  the 
left  with  the  whole  of  the  French  contingent,  which 
naturally  took  with  it  its  six  field-pieces,  and  as  he  had  no 


cavalry,  Lauzun  appropriated  Sarsfield's  regiment  of  horse, 
and  Maxwell's  regiment  of  mounted  dragoons,  two  of  the 
best  corps  in  the  Irish  army.  The  Irish  army  left  to 
oppose  the  main  attack,  then,  was  without  the  French 
veterans,  without  artillery,  and  without  three  of  its  best 
regiments  (Sarsfield,  Maxwell,  and  O'Neil). 

At  this  point  not  a  shot  had  been  fired,  and  we  will 
reserve  our  own  description  of  the  encounter  to  quote  that 
of  Macaulay,  which  is  the  one  taught  to  every  English 
schoolboy,  but  which  we  hope  will  be  relegated  to  the 
department  of  fiction  when  all  the  facts  set  forth  in  this 
chapter  have  been  weighed  and  considered.  Macaulay 
begins  : — 

"  The  first  of  July  dawned,  a  day  which  has  never  since  returned 
without  exciting  strong  emotions  of  very  different  kinds  in  the 
two  populations  which  divide  Ireland.  The  sun  rose  bright  and 
cloudless.  Soon  after  four  both  armies  were  in  motion.  William 
ordered  his  right  wing  under  the  command  of  Meinhart  Schom- 
berg,  one  of  the  Duke's  sons,  to  march  to  the  Bridge  of  Slane  some 
miles  up  the  river,  to  cross  there  and  to  turn  the  left  flank  of  the 
Irish  army.  Meinhart  Schomberg  was  assisted  by  Portland  and 
Douglas.  James  anticipating  some  such  design  had  already  sent 
to  the  bridge  a  regiment  of  dragoons  commanded  by  Sir  Neil  O'Neil. 
O'Neil  behaved  himself  like  a  brave  gentleman,  but  he  soon  received 
a  mortal  wound,  his  men  fled,  and  the  English  right  wing  passed 
the  river. 

"  This  move  made  Lauzun  uneasy.  What  if  the  English  right 
wing  should  get  into  the  rear  of  the  army  of  James  ?  About  four 
miles  south  of  the  Boyne  was  a  place  called  Duleek,  where  the 
road  to  Dublin  was  so  narrow  that  two  cars  could  not  pass  each 
other,  and  where  on  both  sides  of  the  road  lay  a  morass  which 
afforded  no  firm  footing.  If  Meinhart  Schomberg  should  occupy 
this  post,  it  would  be  impossible  for  the  Irish  to  retreat.  They 
must  either  conquer  or  be  cut  off  to  a  man.  Disturbed  by  this 
apprehension  the  French  general  marched  with  his  countrymen 
and  with  Sarsfield's  horse  in  the  direction  of  Slane  Bridge.  Thus 
the  fords  near  Oldbridge  were  left  to  be  defended  by  the  Irish 

"  It  was  now  near  ten  o'clock.  William  put  himself  at  the  head 
of  his  left  wing,  which  was  composed  exclusively  of  cavalry,  and 
prepared  to  pass  the  river  not  far  above  Drogheda.  The  centre 
of  his  army,  which  consisted  almost  exclusively  of  foot,  was  en- 

154  THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

trusted  to  the  command  of  Schomberg,  and  was  marshalled  opposite 
to  Oldbridge.  At  Oldbridge  had  been  collected  the  whole  Irish 
army,  foot,  dragoons  and  horse,  Sarsfield's  regiment  alone  excepted. 
The  Meath  bank  bristled  with  pikes  and  bayonets.  A  fortification 
had  been  made  by  French  engineers  out  of  the  hedges  and  buildings, 
and  a  breastwork  had  been  thrown  up  close  to  the  outer  side.  Tyr- 
connell  was  there,  and  under  him  were  Richard  Hamilton  and 

"  Schomberg  gave  the  word.  Solmes's  Blues  were  the  first 
to  move.  They  marched  gallantly  with  drums  beating  to  the 
brink  of  the  Boyne.  Then  the  drums  stopped,  and  the  men,  ten 
abreast,  descended  into  the  water.  Next  plunged  Londonderry 
and  Enniskillen.  A  little  to  the  left  of  Londonderry  and  Ennis- 
killen  Caillemot  crossed,  at  the  head  of  a  long  column  of  French 
refugees.  A  little  to  the  left  of  Caillemot  and  his  refugees  the 
main  body  of  the  English  infantry  struggled  through  the  river 
up  to  their  armpits  in  water.  Still  further  down  the  stream  the 
Danes  found  another  ford.  In  a  few  minutes  the  Boyne  for  a 
quarter  of  a  mile  was  alive  with  muskets  and  green  boughs. 

<!  It  was  not  till  the  assailants  had  reached  the  middle  of  the 
channel  that  they  became  aware  of  the  whole  difficulty  and  danger 
of  the  service  in  which  they  were  engaged.  They  had  as  yet  seen 
little  more  than  half  the  hostile  army.  Now  whole  regiments 
of  foot  and  horse  seemed  to  start  out  of  the  earth.  A  wild  shout 
of  defiance  rose  from  the  whole  shore  ;  during  one  moment  the 
event  seemed  doubtful ;  but  the  Protestants  pressed  resolutely 
forward,  and  in  another  moment  the  whole  Irish  line  gave  way. 
Tyrconnell  looked  on  in  helpless  despair.  He  did  not  want  personal 
courage  ;  but  his  military  skill  was  so  small  that  he  hardly  ever 
reviewed  his  regiment  in  Phoenix  Park  without  committing  some 
blunder  ;  and  to  rally  the  ranks  which  were  breaking  all  round 
him  was  no  task  for  a  general  who  had  survived  the  energy  of  his 
body  and  of  his  mind,  and  yet  had  still  the  rudiments  of  his  pro- 
fession to  learn.  Several  of  his  best  officers  fell  while  vainly  en- 
deavouring to  prevail  on  their  soldiers  to  look  the  Dutch  Blues 
in  the  face.  Richard  Hamilton  ordered  a  body  of  foot  to  fall  on 
the  French  refugees,  who  were  still  deep  in  water.  He  led  the  way, 
and,  accompanied  by  some  courageous  gentlemen,  advanced  sword 
in  hand  into  the  river.  But  neither  his  commands  nor  his  example 
could  infuse  valour  into  that  mob  of  cow-stealers.  He  was  left 
almost  alone  and  retired  from  the  bank  in  despair.  Further  down 
the  river  bank  Antrim's  division  ran  like  sheep  at  the  approach  of 
the  English  column.  Whole  regiments  flung  away  arms,  colours 
and  cloaks,  and  scampered  off  to  the  hills  without  striking  a  blow  or 
firing  a  shot." 


This  favourite  Whig  description  of  the  Boyne  from  the 
pen  of  the  Whig  writer,  who  fought  under  the  Orange 
banner  of  Protestant  ascendancy,  is  as  near  historical  truth 
as  a  fairy  tale  is  to  the  hard  realities  of  life.  We  shall 
subject  it  to  close  dissection  later  on,  and  it  will  be  seen 
that  hardly  one  of  Macaulay's  details  is  in  accord  with  the 
testimony  of  the  witnesses  on  both  sides.  But  the  careful 
reader,  who  has  no  local  knowledge  and  who  never  read 
another  account  of  the  battle,  must  have  been  puzzled  to 
try  and  conjure  up  the  despairing  figure  of  Richard 
Hamilton  on  the  river  bank  while  his  men  bolted  in  one 
direction  and  the  Huguenot  regiments  came  on  by  the 
ford,  not  fifty  yards  across,  which  they  had  already  half 
traversed  when  Hamilton  got  there.  If  the  incident  had 
taken  place  as  described,  Hamilton  would  have  had  small 
chance  of  taking  part  in  those  cavalry  charges  about  which 
Macaulay  worked  up  a  little  cheap  eloquence. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  Hamilton  had  nothing  to  do  with 
the  cavalry  charges  at  all.  He  commanded  the  infantry 
division  as  Lieutenant-General.  The  cavalry  charges 
occurred  later  in  the  day,  and  were  led  by  the  Duke  of 
Berwick  and  Dominic  Sheldon,  while  the  Duke  of  Tyrcon- 
nell  and  Henry  Fitzjames  also  took  part  in  them.  Richard 
Hamilton  had  been  wounded  and  taken  prisoner  by  the 
time  that  William's  cavalry  came  down  from  Donore  on 
the  right  flank  of  the  Irish  infantry  commanded  by  him  in 
and  behind  Oldbridge. 

The  probability  is  that,  having  piled  all  the  epithets  of 
contumely  and  contempt  on  the  Irish  infantry  as  "  cow- 
stealers,"  Macaulay  began  to  reflect  that  there  were  some 
things  about  the  Boyne  which  required  a  little  explanation. 
There  was  the  incident  of  Schomberg's  death  rallying  a 
broken  regiment,  Caillemotte  also  was  mortally  wounded 
doing  something  very  similar ;  then,  again,  the  awkward  fact 
that  the  victorious  army  failed  to  force  the  Pass  of  Duleek 
and  attempted  no  pursuit  hardly  tallied  with  the  picture  just 
given  of  the  broken  and  fugitive  host.  Finally,  Macaulay 

156          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

cannot  have  been  blind  to  the  fact  that  William's  taking 
five  days  to  cover  the  twenty  odd  miles  from  the  Boyne  to 
Dublin  required  a  little  elucidation,  and  seemed  to  show 
that  the  victorious  William  was  not  quite  so  sure  as  his 
panegyrist  a  hundred  and  fifty  years  later  that  he  had 
smashed  up  the  Irish  army,  and  the  later  events  of  the 
campaign  amply  justified  the  Dutch  Prince's  view. 

Macaulay  could  not  explain,  because  to  do  so  would  have 
been  to  cancel  what  he  had  written,  but  he  felt  the  need  of 
a  corrective  for  his  own  exuberant  criticism  and  he  supplied 
it  in  an  eulogium  on  the  Irish  cavalry.  We  resume  the 
quotation  of  Macaulay's  description  from  the  point  where 
we  broke  off  : — 

"  It  required  many  years  and  many  heroic  exploits  to  take  away 
the  reproach  which  that  ignominious  rout  left  on  the  Irish  name. 
Yet  even  before  the  day  closed  it  was  abundantly  proved  that  the 
reproach  was  unjust.  Richard  Hamilton  put  himself  at  the  head 
of  the  cavalry,  and  under  his  command  they  made  a  gallant  though 
an  unsuccessful  attempt  to  retrieve  the  day.  They  maintained 
a  desperate  fight  in  the  bed  of  the  river  with  Solmes's  Blues.  They 
drove  the  Danish  brigade  back  into  the  stream.  They  fell  impetu- 
ously on  the  Huguenot  regiments,  which,  not  being  provided  with 
pikes,  then  ordinarily  used  by  foot  to  repel  horse,  began  to  give 
ground.  Caillemot,  while  encouraging  his  fellow-exiles,  received 
a  mortal  wound  in  the  thigh.  Four  of  his  men  carried  him  back 
across  the  ford  to  his  tent.  As  he  passed  he  continued  to  urge 
forward  the  rear  ranks,  which  were  still  up  to  the  breast  in  the 
water.  Schomberg,  who  had  remained  on  the  northern  bank, 
and  who  had  thence  watched  the  progress  of  his  troops  with  the 
eye  of  a  general,  now  thought  that  the  emergency  required  from 
him  the  personal  exertion  of  a  soldier.  Those  who  stood  about 
him  besought  him  in  vain  to  put  on  his  cuirass.  Without  defensive 
armour  he  rode  through  the  river  and  rallied  the  refugees  whom 
the  fall  of  Caillemot  had  dismayed.  '  Come  on,'  he  cried  in  French, 
pointing  to  the  Popish  Squadrons,  '  these  are  your  persecutors  !  ' 
Those  were  his  last  words.  As  he  spoke  a  band  of  Irish  horsemen 
rushed  upon  him  and  encircled  him  for  a  moment.  When  they 
retired  he  was  on  the  ground.  His  friends  raised  him,  but  he  was 
already  a  corpse.  Two  sabre  wounds  were  on  his  head,  and  a  bullet 
from  a  carbine  was  lodged  in  his  neck.  Almost  at  the  same  moment 
Walker,  while  exhorting  the  colonists  of  Ulster  to  play  the  man,  was 
shot  dead.  During  nearly  half  an  hour  the  battle  continued  to 


rage  along  the  southern  shore  of  the  river.  All  was  smoke,  dust 
and  din.  Old  soldiers  were  heard  to  say  that  they  had  seldom  seen 
sharper  work  in  the  Low  Countries.  But  just  at  this  conjuncture 
William  came  up  with  the  left  wing.  He  had  found  much  difficulty  in 
crossing.  The  tide  was  running  fast.  His  charger  had  been  forced 
to  swim,  and  had  been  almost  lost  in  the  mud.  As  soon  as  the  King 
was  on  firm  ground  he  took  his  sword  in  his  left  hand — for  his  right 
arm  was  stiff  with  his  wound  and  his  bandage — and  led  his  men  to 
the  place  where  the  fight  was  the  hottest.  His  arrival  decided  the 
fate  of  the  day.  .  .  .  His  troops,  animated  by  his  example,  gained 
ground  fast.  The  Irish  cavalry  made  their  last  stand  at  a  house 
called  Plottin  Castle,  about  one  mile  and  a  half  south  of  Oldbridge. 
Then  the  Enniskilleners  were  repelled  with  the  loss  of  fifty  men, 
and  were  hotly  pursued  till  William  rallied  them  and  turned  the 
chase  back.  In  this  encounter  Richard  Hamilton,  who  had  done 
all  that  could  be  done  by  valour  to  retrieve  a  reputation  ruined  by 
perfidy,  was  severely  wounded,  taken  prisoner,  and  instantly  brought 
through  the  smoke  and  over  the  carnage  before  the  prince  whom  he 
had  foully  wronged.  '  Is  this  business  over,'  he  said,  '  or  will  your 
horse  make  more  fight  ?  '  '  On  my  honour,  sir,'  answered  Hamilton, 
'  I  believe  that  they  will.'  '  Your  honour  !  '  muttered  William. 
'  Your  honour  !  '  That  half-suppressed  exclamation  was  the  only 
revenge  which  he  condescended  to  take  for  an  injury  for  which 
many  sovereigns  would  have  exacted  a  terrible  retribution.  Then 
restraining  himself  he  ordered  his  own  surgeon  to  look  to  the  hurts 
of  the  captive.  And  now  the  battle  was  over.  Hamilton  was 
mistaken  in  thinking  that  his  horse  would  continue  to  fight.  Whole 
troops  had  been  cut  to  pieces.  One  fine  regiment  had  only  thirty 
unwounded  men  left.  It  was  enough  that  these  gallant  soldiers 
had  disputed  the  field  till  they  were  left  without  support,  or  hope, 
or  guidance,  till  their  bravest  leader  was  a  captive  and  till  their 
King  had  fled." 

And  this  pretty  piece  of  writing,  with  its  compliments  to 
Hamilton,  who,  it  must  be  repeated,  took  no  part  in  the 
cavalry  charges,  has  no  more  applicability  to  the  real  facts  of 
the  encounter  than  the  earlier  passages  in  which  contempt, 
instead  of  flattery,  provides  the  key-note. 

The  impression  at  the  time  among  Irish  and  French 
witnesses  of  the  battle  was  not  at  all  favourable  to  Hamil- 
ton. He  was  accused  of  making  a  very  poor  defence  at  the 
head  of  the  infantry  in  the  village  of  Oldbridge.  It  was 
alleged  that  his  heart  was  not  in  his  work,  and  some  of  the 

158          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

French  went  so  far  as  to  declare  that  he  was  paid  to  prove 
the  traitor.  We  do  not  attach  any  importance  to  this  story, 
but  there  is  nothing  whatever  to  induce  us  to  say  that  he 
played  the  hero.  His  brothers  Anthony  and  John  believed 
for  a  time  that  he  was  killed.  A  French  officer  declared  a 
few  days  after  the  battle  that  he  had  seen  him  riding  into 
Dublin  in  the  cortege  of  William.  With  regard  to  Anthony 
Hamilton,  whose  name  has  just  been  mentioned,  it  may  be 
stated  that  he  did  participate  in  the  cavalry  charges. 

For  this  garbled  and  misleading  version  we  wish  to  sub- 
stitute a  description  of  the  encounter  which  is  somewhat 
nearer  to  the  literal  truth,  and  which  is  based,  not  on  the 
Protestant  clergyman  Story's  version,  blindly  followed  by 
Macaulay,  but  on  the  evidence  of  Berwick,  James  himself, 
la  Hoguette,  Dumont  de  Bostaquet,  and  Zurlauben. 

We  left  Lauzun  moving  off  to  the  left  and  William  to  the 
left  also  on  the  opposite  sides  of  the  Boyne.  Their  re- 
spective movements  required  time,  and  neither  came  into 
action  for  some  hours.  That  is  a  vitally  material  point  to 
which  it  did  not  suit  Macaulay  to  make  any  reference. 
James  and  his  staff,  now  without  a  single  French  officer  on 
it,  have  seen  William's  movement  down  the  river,  and 
Lord  Dungan,  with  his  dragoon  regiment,  is  deputed  to 
move  along  the  crest  of  Ramullin  to  keep  the  enemy  in 
view  and  to  hinder  their  crossing  the  river.  It  is  hoped  and 
believed  that  no  crossing  in  the  state  of  the  tide  will  be 
found  possible,  and  that  in  any  case  Lord  Dungan,  whose 
regiment  is  a  good  one,  will  be  able  to  delay,  if  not  prevent, 
the  passage.  The  point  desirable  to  be  borne  in  mind  by  an 
impartial  student  is  that  in  the  first  phase  of  the  battle 
there  is  no  peril  on  either  flank  for  James's  army.  The 
whole  fortune  of  the  day  depends  on  what  happens  at 
Oldbridge.  If  Schomberg  is  defeated  there,  it  does  not 
matter  what  William  does  lower  down  the  river.  Up- 
stream Meinhardt  Schomberg's  force  and  Lauzun's  may  be 
considered  fairly  equally  matched  and  to  neutralise  each 
other.  A  skilful  commander,  then,  would  have  concentrated 


all  his  efforts  on  the  repulse  of  Schomberg's  main  attack,  the 
development  of  which  was  fully  visible,  and  although  James 
was  hampered  by  the  absence  of  artillery  and  of  well-trained 
infantry,  much  more  might  have  been  done  than  was  at- 
tempted to  defeat  it. 

James's  own  version  of  the  battle  shows  clearly  that  he 
had  nothing  to  do  with  the  fight  in  the  centre  of  the  battle, 
that  he  was  only  nervous  for  the  security  of  his  line  of  re- 
treat, and  that  he  was  busily  engaged  in  passing  troops  from 
his  right  to  his  left  to  reinforce  Lauzun.  He  would  have 
withdrawn  all  Tyrconnell's  force  from  Oldbridge  but  for,  as 
he  says,  "  the  cannon  and  baggage  not  being  far  enough  ad- 
vanced on  their  way  towards  Dublin."  No  stronger  evi- 
dence could  be  asked  for  to  prove  that  flight  and  not  fight 
was  in  the  King's  mind  throughout  the  day,  and  no  troops 
could  fail  to  be  affected  by  the  timidity  of  their  commander. 

At  this  critical  juncture  it  was  Tyrconnell  who  took  upon 
himself  the  duty  of  arranging  what  should  be  done  for  the 
defence  of  Oldbridge,  where,  throughout  the  early  hours  of 
the  morning,  there  were  only  the  two  regiments  of  Clan- 
rickarde  and  Antrim.  When  he  saw  the  preparations  for  the 
attack  developing  he  moved  down  five  infantry  regiments 
under  Richard  Hamilton  to  support  the  two  in  Oldbridge, 
but  the  position  was  somewhat  cramped,  and  beyond  the 
few  cottages  mentioned  it  was  quite  open.  The  French 
reports  absolutely  negative  Macaulay's  assertion  as  to  a 
fortification  having  been  made  by  French  engineers.  There 
was  not  a  French  engineer  in  the  force.  On  the  sloping 
ground  behind  Oldbridge  leading  gradually  upwards  to  the 
Pass  of  Duleek,  Tyrconnell  drew  up  his  cavalry  regiments. 
These  consisted  of  Tyrconnell's  own  regiment,  two  troops 
of  the  bodyguard  commanded  by  Berwick,  Parker's  regi- 
ment and  Sutherland's  regiment,  or  a  total  of  three  and  a 
half  cavalry  regiments.  These  troops  were  as  good  cavalry 
as  existed  anywhere,  but  it  is  putting  them  at  a  high  figure 
to  say  they  totalled  fifteen  hundred  sabres.  The  seven  in- 
fantry battalions  numbered  four  thousand,  so  that  Tyr- 

160          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

connell  had  five  thousand  five  hundred  men  to  oppose 
Schomberg,  who  had  at  least  fifteen  thousand  men  under 
his  immediate  orders. 

It  is  impossible  to  form  any  decided  opinion  as  to  the 
exact  hour  at  which  Schomberg  ordered  the  regiments 
selected  to  lead  the  attack  to  march  down  from  the  table- 
land already  mentioned  to  the  river  bank  at  Oldbridge,  but 
it  does  not  seem  to  have  been  much  before  midday. 
Macaulay,  following  Story,  states  ten  o'clock ;  an  Irish 
writer  places  it  as  late  as  four.  All  that  can  be  said  is  that 
so  steep  is  the  acclivity  on  the  left  bank  that  it  would  have 
taken  the  large  body  of  troops  employed  in  carrying  the 
passage  a  considerable  time  to  deploy  on  the  river  bank 
with  the  precision  that  would  alone  satisfy  Schomberg. 
This  central  force  comprised  the  pick  of  the  infantry — 
the  Dutch  Blue  Guards  under  Count  Solmes,  the  Huguenot 
foot  under  Caillemotte,  the  Ulster  regiments,  and,  finally, 
the  English  regiments.  It  would  not  be  surprising  if  the 
raw  Irish  infantry  without  cannon  were  shaken  and  un- 
steady at  the  mere  sight  of  this  imposing  array  before  they 
met  in  the  shock  of  battle.  The  best  account  of  what 
followed  is  that  given  in  James's  own  narrative,  which,  as 
he  did  not  see  this  part  of  the  battle,  was  supplied  him  by 
one  of  the  officers  present,  probably  General  Dorington, 
who  commanded  the  battalion  of  Guards.  It  reads  as 
follows  in  his  own  phraseology  and  spelling  : — 

"  As  for  what  pass'd  at  Old  Brig,  it  seems  the  enemie 
perceiveing  the  left  wing  and  most  of  the  foot  had  march'd 
after  Lausun  attacked  the  regiment  which  was  at  the  village 
of  Old  Brig  with  a  great  body  of  foot  all  strangers,  and  soon 
possessed  themselves  of  it ;  upon  which  the  seaven  battal- 
lions  of  the  first  line,  which  were  left  there  and  drawn  up  a 
little  behind  the  riseing  ground  which  shelter'd  them  from 
the  enemies  cannon  marched  up  to  charge  them,  and  went 
on  bouldly  til  they  came  within  a  pike's  length  of  the  enemie 
notwithstanding 'their  perpetual  fire,  so  that  Major  Arthur 
who  was  at  the  head  of  the  first  battalion  of  the  Guards  run 


the  officer  through  the  body  that  commanded  the  battalion 
he  march'd  up  too.  But  at  the  same  time  the  enemies  horse 
began  to  cross  the  river  which  the  Kings  foot  perceiveing 
immediately  gave  way  notwithstanding  all  that  Dorington 
and  the  other  officers  could  doe  to  stop  them  which  cost 
several  of  the  Captains  their  lives  as  Arundel,  Ashton, 
Dungen,  Fitzgerald  and  two  or  three  more,  besides  the 
Marquis  de  Hoquincourt,  who  was  kill'd  with  several 
others  of  his  brigade.  Barker  Lieut.-Colonel  of  the  Guards 
with  Arthur  the  Major  were  both  wounded  of  which  the 
latter  dy'd  the  same  day." 

As  all  the  officers  named  were  in  Dorington's  regiment 
(the  Guard  of  James's  army),  it  is  further  proof  of  his 
having  supplied  the  King  with  the  material  for  his  narrative. 
If  we  compare  this  description  with  that  furnished  by  the 
Williamite  reports  we  shall  conclude  that  up  to  a  certain 
stage  in  the  encounter  the  infantry  offered  a  good  resistance, 
and  that  it  was  on  seeing  that  his  men  were  not  making 
much  headway  that  Schomberg  rushed  from  the  high 
ground  to  rally  them.  As  Dumont  states  positively  that 
his  cavalry  regiment  was  the  first  to  get  over  the  river,  and 
that  they  then  heard  of  Schomberg's  death,  it  is  perfectly 
clear  that  he  was  killed  in  the  infantry  encounter,  and  before 
the  Orange  cavalry  came  down  on  the  right  flank  of  the 
Irish  infantry,  as  described  in  the  further  passage  from 
James's  narrative,  which  we  shall  quote  further  on. 

As  a  further  piece  of  evidence  to  the  same  effect,  Schom- 
berg was  supposed  to  have  been  killed  by  Sir  Charles 
O'Toole,  a  lieutenant  in  Dorington's  regiment.  It  is 
sufficiently  clear,  then,  that  before  William's  horse  crossed 
the  river  the  Jacobite  infantry  fought  very  well,  that  during 
that  period  the  Protestant  troops  wavered,  that  Schomberg 
felt  bound  to  hasten  to  join  in  the  fray,  and  that  he  was 
killed  and  the  leader  of  the  Huguenots,  de  la  Caillemotte, 
received  a  mortal  wound  at  the  same  juncture.  It  was  only 
when  the  horse  came  charging  down  on  the  right  flank  that 
these  half-trained  Irish  troops  broke  and  got  out  of  hand. 

162          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Let  us  now  turn  to  the  progress  of  William's  left  wing 
under  his  own  immediate  command.  Owing  to  the  tide 
being  in  there  was  great  difficulty  in  rinding  the  ford  of 
Donore,  and  when  found  it  was  not  fordable.  Dumont's 
mounted  regiment  of  French  refugees  led  the  van,  and  with 
it  was  the  regiment  of  Danish  foot  guards.  After  waiting 
a  long  time  William  could  wait  no  longer.  Dumont's 
regiment  was  ordered  to  swim  across,  the  Danes  to  cross  in 
single  file.  On  the  opposite  bank  was  Lord  Dungan  and  his 
dragoon  regiment.  William  covered  the  crossing  with  the 
fire  of  two  cannon,  and  those  of  the  Danes  who  had  not 
entered  the  water  were  ordered  to  fire  volleys  from  the 
bank.  Lord  Dungan  was  killed  by  one  of  the  first  cannon 
shots,  several  of  his  officers  and  men  were  also  killed  and 
wounded,  and  the  rest  of  the  regiment  galloped  off  over  the 
heights  of  Ramullin  towards  Duleek,  and  took  no  further 
part  in  the  battle. 

The  right  of  the  Jacobite  army  was  thus  uncovered,  but 
it  took  time  for  William  to  get  his  troops  over  the  river,  and 
then  to  traverse  the  several  miles  between  the  crossing- 
place  and  the  position  at  Oldbridge.  It  was  during  this 
interval,  as  Dumont  states,  that  news  was  received  "  of 
Schomberg's  death,  of  there  having  been  fierce  fighting, 
and  of  many  of  our  officers  having  been  killed  and  wounded." 

We  may  now  revert  to  the  King's  narrative  : — 

"  Notwithstanding  the  foot  was  thus  beaten  the  right 
wing  of  horse  and  dragoons  march'd  up  and  charg'd  such  of 
the  enemies  hors  and  foot  as  passed  the  river,  but  my  Lord 
Dungan  being  slaine  at  their  first  going  on  by  a  great  shot 
his  Dragoons  could  not  be  got  to  doe  anything  nor  did 
Clare's  do  much  better  (Clare's  regiment  was  infantry). 
Nevertheless  the  hors  did  their  duty  with  great  bravery,  and 
tho'  they  did  not  break  the  enemies  foot  it  was  more  by 
reason  of  the  ground's  not  being  favourable  than  for  want 
of  vigor,  for  after  they  had  been  repulsed  by  the  foot  they 
rally'd  again  and  charged  the  enemies  hors  and  beat  them 
every  charg.  Tyrconnell's  and  Parker's  troops  suffer'd  the 


most  on  this  occasion.  Powel  and  Vaudrey  both  Lief- 
tenants  of  the  Guards  with  most  of  the  Exempts  and 
Brigadiers  of  both  troops  were  slaine  as  also  the  Earle  of 
Carlingford,  Mons  d'Amande,  and  several  other  volunteers 
that  charged  with  them.  Nugent  and  Casanone  were 
wounded  of  Tyrconnell's ;  Major  Mara  and  Sir  Charles 
Take  killed  and  Bada  wounded.  Of  Parker's  the  Colonel 
wounded,  the  Lieftenant  Colonel  Green  with  Dodington 
the  major  and  many  other  officers  killed,  and  of  the  two 
squadrons  of  that  regiment  there  came  but  off  about  thirty 
sound  men.  Sunderland's  [really  Sutherland's]  regiment — 
tho'  wounded  himself — suffer'd  not  much,  haveing  to  do 
only  with  the  enemies  hors  which  he  soon  repulsed  ;  in  fine 
they  were  so  roughly  handled  and  overpowered  by  numbers 
that  at  last  they  were  quite  broke.  Lieftenant  General 
Hamilton  being  wounded  and  taken  prisoner  at  the  last 
charge,  and  the  Duke  of  Berwick  having  his  hors  shot  under 
him  was  some  time  amongst  the  enemie,  he  was  rid  over  and 
ill-brused  ;  however  by  the  help  of  a  trooper  got  off  again. 
Sheldon  who  had  command  of  the  horse  had  two  kill'd 
under  him." 

Dumont's  account  of  the  cavalry  encounter  in  which  he 
and  his  regiment  took  a  prominent  part  does  a  great  deal 
more  than  corroborate  this  description.  He  describes  the 
Irish  cavalry  as  charging  like  madmen,  and  he  honestly  ad- 
mits that  his  own  corps  was  driven  back.  He  also  refers  to 
the  Casaubon  regiment  (Huguenots)  being  repulsed  with 
the  loss  of  twenty  killed  and  wounded.  Finally  he  mentions 
the  Enniskilleners  being  shaken,  and  the  failure  to  induce 
them  to  charge  again.  This  was  the  moment  when  he 
nearly  killed  one  of  them  already  referred  to.  Berwick 
states  in  his  Memoirs  that  at  the  Boyne  he  and  the  cavalry 
"  charged  and  charged  again  ten  times,  until  the  enemy 
amazed  at  our  boldness  halted." 

While  these  events  had  been  happening  in  the  centre  and 
on  the  right,  Lauzun  with  King  James  in  person  had  taken 
up  a  position  on  the  left  opposite  to  the  corps,  10,000 

164          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

strong,  under  young  Schomberg.  Lauzun  had  5500  French 
infantry,  three  excellent  regiments  of  Irish  cavalry  and 
dragoons,  and  the  only  artillery  with  the  whole  army.  Here 
then,  if  anywhere  on  the  Boyne,  the  Jacobite  army  was  on 
something  like  an  equality  with  its  assailant.  Here,  too,  it 
did  least  of  all.  Let  James  tell  his  own  story  of  that  part  of 
the  battle  which  passed  under  his  eyes,  and  in  reading  it  let 
us  bear  in  mind  what  Macpherson  said  of  him,  that  with  all 
his  faults  James  had  a  punctilious  regard  for  accuracy  of 
fact,  and  that  few  of  his  literal  statements  have  ever  been 

"  Sir  Neale  O'Neal's  dragoons  did  their  part  very  well, 
and  disputed  the  passage  with  the  enemie  almost  an  hour  till 
their  cannon  came  up  and  then  retired  in  good  order  with 
the  loss  only  of  five  or  six  common  men  but  their  Collonel 
was  shot  through  the  thigh  and  an  officer  or  two  wounded. 
No  sooner  had  the  enemie  passed  there  but  they  stretched 
out  their  line  to  the  right  as  if  they  designed  to  take  us  in 
the  flank  or  get  between  us  and  Dublin  which  Mons  de 
Lausune  seeing  marched  with  the  left  to  keep  up  with  them 
and  observe  their  motion  ;  while  this  was  a-doing  the  King 
went  to  the  right  to  hasten  up  the  troops  to  follow  Lausune 
believeing  the  main  body  of  the  enemie's  army  was  following 
their  right  which  had  passed  at  Slane,  but  when  the  King 
came  up  he  found  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell  with  the  right 
wing  of  hors  and  Dragoons,  and  the  two  first  brigades  of  the 
first  line  drawn  up  before  old  bridg,  from  which  post  he  did 
not  think  fit  to  draw  them,  the  Cannon  and  baggage  not 
being  far  enugh  advanced  on  their  way  towards  Dublin. 
However  the  rest  of  the  foot  marched  by  their  flank  towards 
Lausune,  and  the  King  took  the  reserve  consisting  of  Purcel's 
hors  and  Brown's  foot  with  which  he  marched  till  he  came 
up  to  that  rear  of  the  foot  that  followed  Lausune,  and  then 
ordering  Sir  Charles  Carny,  who  commanded  the  reserve,  to 
post  himself  at  the  right  of  the  first  line  of  those  foot  to 
make  a  sort  of  left  wing  there.  Then  (the  King)  rid  along 
the  line  where  he  found  Lausune  and  the  enemie's  right 


drawn  up  in  battle  within  half  cannon  shot  faceing  each 
other.  The  King  did  not  think  fit  to  charge  just  then  being 
in  expectation  of  the  troops  he  had  left  at  old  bridg,  but 
while  he  was  discussing  this  matter  with  Lausune  an  aid  de 
Camp  came  to  give  the  King  an  account  that  the  enemie  had 
forced  the  pass  at  old  bridg  and  that  the  right  wing  was 
beaten  ;  which  the  King  wispering  in  Lausune' s  ear  tould 
him  There  was  now  nothing  to  be  done  but  to  charge  the 
Enemie  forthwith  before  his  troops  knew  what  had  hap- 
pen'd  on  the  right,  and  by  that  means  try  if  they  could  re- 
cover the  day.  And  accordingly  (the  King)  sent  Mons. 
Hoguette  to  the  head  of  the  French  foot,  made  all  the 
Dragoons  to  light  (alight)  and  placed  them  in  the  intervalls 
between  the  hors  and  ordered  Lausune  to  lead  on.  But  just 
as  they  were  beginning  to  move,  Sarsfield  and  Maxwell,  who 
had  been  to  view  the  ground  betwixt  the  two  Armys  sayd  : — 
'  It  was  impossible  for  the  hors  to  charge  the  enemie  by 
reason  of  two  dubble  ditches  with  high  banks  and  a  little 
brook  betwixt  them  that  run  along  the  small  valley  that 
divided  the  two  Armys,'  and  at  the  same  time  the  enemie's 
Dragoons  got  on  horseback,  and  their  whole  line  began  to 
march  by  their  flank  to  their  right,  and  we  soon  lost  sight  of 
their  van  by  a  village  that  interposed  ;  only  by  the  dust  that 
ris  behind  it  they  seem'd  to  endeavour  to  gaine  Dublin  road. 
Upon  which  the  King  (sins  he  could  not  attack  them) 
thought  fit  to  march  also  by  his  left  towards  Dublin  road 
too  to  pass  a  small  brook  at  Dulick  which  was  impracticable 
high  up  by  reason  of  a  bog.  The  King  was  no  sooner  on  his 
march  but  the  right  wing's  being  beat  was  no  longer  a 
mistery  for  severall  of  the  scatter'd  and  wounded  hors  men 
got  in  amongst  them  before  they  rought  Dulick  ;  where- 
upon Mons  de  Lausune  advised  the  King  to  take  his  own 
regiment  of  horse  which  had  the  van  of  that  wing  and  some 
dragoons  and  make  the  best  of  his  way  to  Dublin  for  fear  the 
enemie  who  were  so  strong  in  hors  and  dragoons  should  make 
detachments  and  get  thither  before  him  which  he  was  con- 
fident they  would  endeavour  to  doe,  but  that  if  his  Majesty 

166          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

arrived  there  first  he  might  with  the  troops  he  had  with  him 
and  the  garrison  he  found  there  prevent  their  possessing 
themselves  of  the  town  till  Mons  Lausun  could  make  the 
retreat  which  he  prayed  him  to  leave  to  his  conduct. 

"  He  then  advised  the  King,  not  to  remain  at  Dublin 
neither  but  go  with  all  expedition  for  France  to  prevent 
his  falling  into  the  enemie's  hands  which  would  be  not  only 
his  but  the  Prince  his  Son's  utter  ruin,  that  as  long  as  there 
was  life  there  was  hope  and  that  if  once  he  was  in  France 
again,  his  cause  was  not  so  desperate,  they  being  in  all 
probability  masters  at  sea  ;  that  he  would  give  one  of  his 
hands  that  he  could  have  the  honour  to  accompany  him,  but 
he  must  endeavour  to  make  his  retreat  in  the  best  manner 
possible  he  could,  or  dy  with  the  French  if  they  were  beaten. 
This  advice  went  much  against  the  grain,  so  the  King  de- 
mur'd  to  it  tho'  reitterated  several  times,  but  Mons.  Lausun 
ceased  not  pressing  him  til  at  last  he  found  by  a  more  par- 
ticular account  in  what  manner  the  business  had  been  carryd 
on  the  right,  that  all  the  enemie's  army  had  passed  the  river 
which  forced  even  their  troops  that  were  not  beaten  to  re- 
treat, and  that  by  consequence  it  was  necessary  for  him  to 
doe  so  too." 

The  facts  which  stand  out  clear  from  the  King's  narrative 
are  that  neither  he  nor  Lauzun  seemed  to  realise  that  the 
main  attack  would  be  made  at  Oldbridge,  that  he  removed 
at  least  eight  regiments  of  Irish  infantry  from  the  centre  to 
the  left,  and  that  in  consequence  of  that  reinforcement 
Lauzun's  force  was  increased  by  at  least  five  thousand  men, 
so  that  it  possessed  a  clear  numerical  superiority  over  the 
corps  under  young  Schomberg. 

Nicholas  Plunkett's  account  of  the  battle  may  be  given  as 
representing  what  was  supposed  by  the  Irish  witnesses  to 
have  been  the  course  of  the  encounter,  but  he  is  so  much  out 
as  to  the  hours  of  its  commencement  and  progress  that  it 
possesses  no  more  value  for  the  one  side  than  Story's  does 
for  the  other. 

"  The  King  resolved  in  the  evening  on  Monday  (i.e.  June 


30,  O.S.  ;  July  10,  N.S.)  to  decamp  that  night,  but  un- 
happily again  that  resolution  was  not  executed  till  Tuesday 
morning,  July  ist,  about  eight  o'clock,  at  which  time  the 
army  was  commanded  to  march  upwards  by  the  river, 
giving  their  right  flank  to  the  front  of  the  enemy  in  order, 
as  'twas  believed,  to  go  to  Dublin  to  get  a  better  opportunity 
of  defence  or  of  giving  battle.  Before  the  army  began  to 
move,  you  must  know  that  there  were  two  regiments  of  foot, 
the  Earl  of  Antrim's  and  the  Earl  of  Clanrickarde's  left  at 
the  ford  of  Ouldbridge  within  some  gardens  of  the  poor 
inhabitants  without  intrenchment  or  cannon  to  stop  the 
enemy  a  while  from  coming  over  till  the  infantry  got  clear 
of  the  river.  At  the  same  time  Sir  Neil  O'Neil  from  the  left 
was  placed  with  his  regiment  of  dragoons  at  the  ford  of 
Rossnaree,  a  little  beneath  the  Bridge  of  Slane  (the  bridge 
being  broken  before)  to  guard  that  pass.  This  being  so,  the 
army  began  their  march.  The  Prince  of  Orange  seeing  them 
in  their  motion  of  going  off  ordered  his  army  (and  not  be- 
fore) to  pass  the  river  in  two  places  principally  at  the  ford  of 
Ouldbridge  and  at  the  ford  of  Rosnaree.  He  sent  Lieut. - 
General  Douglas  and  Count  Schomberg,  the  Marshal's  son, 
with  above  ten  thousand  horse  and  foot  to  pass  at  Rosnaree 
on  his  right.  He  sent  a  greater  force  under  Marshal  Schom- 
berg, the  general,  to  traverse  the  ford  of  Ouldbridge,  he 
himself  following  with  the  rest. 

"  The  King  observing  the  prince  to  attempt  a  trajection 
commanded  his  army  to  halt  and  face  to  the  enemy  which 
they  did  and  prepared  themselves  to  fight  upon  the  passage 
of  the  river.  But  alas !  they  were  deceived  in  this  expecta- 
tion, for  there  was  no  battle  because  they  were  not  brought 
to  combat.  There  was  only  a  skirmish  in  passing  the  waters 
between  a  party  of  theirs  and  the  whole  army  of  Orange. 
And  because  this  party  did  not  keep  all  the  hostile  troops 
beyond  the  flood  the  King's  host  must  march  away  and 
leave  the  pass  to  the  foe.  If  there  was  a  settled  resolution 
to  fight,  why  was  not  the  army  led  down  in  two  wings  to  the 
river  with  their  field-pieces  as  they  saw  the  enemies  forces 

1 68 

divided  and  there  to  stand  it  out  for  two  or  three  hours  ? 
The  hostile  cannon  could  not  much  annoy  the  Irish  as  being 
mounted  on  an  overlooking  ground,  while  the  Irish  artillery 
might  play  without  obstruction  in  the  faces  and  flanks 
of  the  enemies  as  ^they  were  descending  to  the  river  and 
crossing  it. 

"  I  am  confident  by  the  knowledge  I  have  of  the  loyal 
troops  and  of  their  eagerness  for  fighting  that  day,  if  they 
had  been  managed  as  aforesaid,  the  Prince  of  Orange  would 
not  have  persisted  in  traversing  the  water  at  such  dis- 
advantage as  violent  as  he  was  for  approaching  to  Dublin. 
Marshal  Schomberg  better  understood  the  point  when  he 
made  difficulty  at  that  juncture  to  attempt  the  trajection 
as  he  saw  the  Irish  drawn  up  for  combat.  But  he  was  over- 
ruled by  the  temeraciousness  of  Orange  which  notwith- 
standing did  succeed  through  the  non-resistance  of  the 
loyal  host  which  was  occasioned  by  the  ill-conduct  of 
generals  as  you  shall  now  observe.  The  two  great  wings  of 
the  Prince  of  Orange's  army  being  come  to  the  river,  action 
was  discovered  to  begin  at  four  in  the  afternoon  both  at  the 
ford  of  Rossnaree  and  at  the  ford  of  Ouldbridge.  Where- 
upon it  was  ordered  that  five  regiments  of  Irish  foot  should 
be  in  haste  sent  to  reinforce  the  two  before-mentioned  regi- 
ments at  Ouldbridge. 

"  At  this  time  the  Lord  Dungan  was  commanded  down 
from  the  right  with  his  regiment  of  dragoons  to  give  a  check 
unto  some  advanced  troops  of  the  enemies  that  were  ready 
to  gain  the  banks  at  the  upper  end  of  the  ford  of  Ouldbridge 
in  despite  of  the  fire  that  was  made  on  them  at  something 
too  great  a  distance  by  the  Irish  foot  which  were  posted  near 
the  said  ford.  The  Lord  Dungan  having  repulsed  those 
troops  to  the  other  side  of  the  river  marched  back  to  his 
station.  But  in  his  retreat  upon  a  high  ground  he  was  un- 
fortunately slain  by  a  cannon-ball.  At  the  same  juncture 
Sir  Neil  O'Neil  on  the  left  with  his  dragoons  did  wonders  at 
Rossnaree  in  stopping  the  abovesaid  ten  thousand  men  some 
half  an  hour.  But  there  was  no  care  taken  to  sustain  him 


and  so  he  was  forced  to  retreat  to  his  line.  In  this  while  the 
King's  army  was  only  spectator  of  this  fierce  conflict  be- 
tween a  few  regiments  of  their  own  and  the  whole  hostile 
camp  which  was  an  unequal  match.  Whence  we  may  judge 
that  it  is  easy  for  a  host  to  gain  the  victory  where  little  or 
no  opposition  is  given  and  that  a  hundred  thousand  men 
signify  nothing  in  the  field  if  they  are  not  brought  to  the 

"  Immediately  after  Dungan's  dragoons  retired,  Marshal 
Schomberg  brought  down  to  the  ford  of  Ouldbridge  the 
gross  of  his  cavalry  with  orders  to  push  on  and  suffer  no 
check.  At  this  the  seven  regiments  aforesaid  of  Irish  foot 
observing  they  would  be  soon  overpowered  they  cried  to 
their  own  for  horse  to  sustain  them.  In  the  meanwhile  they 
made  a  smart  fire  at  the  enemies  and  laid  them  in  heaps  as 
they  were  entering  the  waters.  But  their  crying  for  horse 
was  in  vain,  for  they  received  but  one  troop  which  was  as 
good  as  nothing.  At  this  time  the  King,  remarking  from  his 
station  which  was  at  the  Church  of  Donore  that  the  enemy 
was  gaining  the  passes  both  on  the  right  and  left,  sent  orders 
to  his  army  to  retreat  leaving  the  conduct  to  the  Duke  of 
Tyrconnell,  and  then  he  himself  went  off  to  Dublin,  being 
guarded  by  some  troops  of  Colonel  Sarsfield's  horse  and  by 
some  of  Colonel  Maxwell's  dragoons.  As  the  King  de- 
parted the  army  began  their  retreat  towards  the  bourg  of 
Duleek.  The  left  wing  with  the  centre  went  off  first,  which 
left  wing  was  posted  over  against  the  ford  of  Rossnaree,  the 
pass  being  first  forced.  The  French  brigade  of  foot 
marched  in  the  rear  of  the  centre,  bringing  along  with  them 
their  cannon,  by  the  help  of  which  they  covered  the  in- 
fantry while  the  horse  on  the  said  left  gave  their  assistance. 
The  seven  regiments  of  Irish  foot  which  guarded  the  great 
ford  of  Ouldbridge  not  being  supported  by  horse,  were  also 
forced  to  retreat,  but  were  in  danger  to  be  intercepted  by 
such  of  the  enemy  as  had  traversed  first  the  river  before 
they  joined  their  main  army,  which  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell 
from  the  right  perceiving  flew  with  his  regiment  of  horse 

170          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

to  their  rescue,  as  did  the  Duke  of  Berwick  with  the  two 
troops  of  guards,  as  did  Colonel  Parker  with  his  regiment 
of  horse  and  Colonel  Sutherland  with  his. 

"  It  was  Tyrconnell's  fortune  to  charge  first  the  blue 
regiment  of  foot  guards  to  the  Prince  of  Orange,  and  he 
pierced  through.  He  presently  after  engaged  the  Ennis- 
killen  horse,  bold  troopers.  At  the  same  time  the  two 
troops  of  guards  and  the  other  two  regiments  of  Irish  horse 
signalized  themselves  and  were  bravely  opposed  by  their 
enemies.  This  gave  opportunity  for  the  King's  infantry 
to  get  off  in  safety. 

"  By  the  time  Schomberg  was  killed  the  Prince  of  Orange 
traversed  the  river  with  the  rest  of  his  army,  who  near  the 
village  of  Dunore  had  some  small  engagement,  for  the  Irish 
horse,  especially  the  right  wing,  fought,  retreating  all  the 
way,  in  covering  the  main  body  till  they  came  to  Duleek, 
two  miles  from  the  Boyne,  where  being  pressed  by  the 
pursuit  of  the  enemy,  the  Irish  army  halted  and  faced 
about  with  preparations  for  a  bloody  combat  if  set  upon. 
But  the  Prince  of  Orange,  observing  the  King's  army  to 
make  so  good  a  countenance  thought  it  more  prudent  to 
halt  and  suffer  them  to  march  away.  The  heat  of  this 
action  lasted  not  above  one  hour,  when  you  see  that  it  was 
but  a  skirmish  between  nine  regiments  without  cannon  or 
entrenchment,  and  an  army  of  thirty-six  thousand  choice 
men  for  the  defending  and  gaining  a  few  passes  upon  a 
shallow  river  ;  and  after  the  passes  gained  there  happened 
a  running  fight  between  a  few  regiments  of  horse  with  the 
help  of  a  brigade  of  foot,  and  all  the  said  army  of  thirty-six 
thousand  men  for  two  miles,  which  shows  the  retreat  was 
admirable  considering  the  superiority  of  the  enemy  and 
the  openness  of  the  ground. 

"  There  was  slain  of  the  loyalists  about  five  hundred  men. 
The  enemy  had  about  a  thousand  private  men  killed." 

In  concluding  this  description  of  the  Battle  of  the  Boyne, 
which  incorporates  the  narratives  of  Macaulay,  James  II, 


and  Plunkett,  I  am  going  to  add  entirely  new  matter  from 
the  several  French  reports  preserved  among  the  historical 
archives  of  the  French  War  Department.  M.  Martinien 
informed  me  that  I  was  the  sixty-first  student  from  Great 
Britain  to  examine  these  documents,  and  I  was  simply 
astounded  to  see  how  my  predecessors,  of  whom  Macaulay 
was  the  first,  have  left  the  pearls  in  their  shells.  Macaulay's 
abstinence  is  intelligible,  for  these  contemporary  reports 
level  the  whole  of  his  historical  structure  with  the  ground. 

As  these  texts,  dealing  not  only  with  the  Boyne,  but  with 
the  whole  of  the  war  in  Ireland,  would  fill  a  large  volume,  I 
shall  only  take  out  of  them  the  very  small  quantity  that 
suits  my  present  purpose  and  the  character  of  this  work. 
But  it  will  not  be  for  want  of  effort  on  my  part  if  these 
historical  documents  are  left  to  fade  away,  as  some  are 
doing,  in  bad  ink  on  bad  paper. 

For  my  present  purpose  I  am  only  making  use  of  them  to 
show  what  the  French  commanders  and  their  troops  did, 
and  by  that  light  I  claim  to  place  the  conduct  of  the  Irish 
soldiers  in  an  entirely  new  aspect. 

Macaulay  most  certainly  did  look  at  those  volumes  of 
manuscript  bound  in  calf  for  the  most  part  with  the  arms  of 
the  Kings  of  France  on  the  cover.  He  probably  began  with 
the  first  of  them,  Vol.  960,  and  he  found  there  ready  to  his 
hand  the  letter  of  La  Hoguette,  dated  Kingsale,  July  14, 
1690.  He  gives  his  readers  the  first  passage  in  an  English 
translation.  It  suited  his  views  to  the  letter  :  "  The  Irish 
troops  were  not  only  beaten  ;  they  were  driven  before  the 
enemy  like  sheep."  Macaulay  had  found  all  he  wanted. 
Why  should  he  wade  for  more  through  twenty  volumes  of 
letters  and  reports  ?  We  can  well  imagine  his  closing  Vol. 
960  with  an  ejaculation  of  complete  satisfaction,  and  his 
deciding  that  it  would  not  be  necessary  to  trouble  the 
"  Section  des  Archives  Historiques  "  any  further.  He  did 
not  even  finish  La  Hoguette's  letter,  or  surely  he  must  have 
paused  over  its  closing  lines.  We,  humbler  devotees  of  the 
Muse  Clio,  have  to  be  more  careful. 

172          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

Here  is  the  text  of  the  opening  and  final  passages  of  La 
Hoguette's  letter  to  Louvois  : — 

"  Monseigneur, 

"  Je  n'ay  pas  le  temps  de  vous  faire  le  destails  de 
desastre  qui  est  arrivee  a  1'armee  du  Roy  d'Angleterre, 
lequel  vient  de  me  dire  tout  presentement  qu'il  vouloit 
partir  tout  a  1'heure.  J'aurai  1'honneur  de  vous  en  ecrire 
par  la  premiere  occasion.  Je  vous  diray  seulement  que  nous 
n'avons  pas  ete  battu  mais  que  les  ennemies  ont  chasse 
devant  eux  les  troupes  irlandaises  comme  les  moutons  .  .  . 

"  J'espere  que  le  Roi  ne  desapprouvait  de  ma  conduite  .  . . 

"  Sa  Majeste  sera  toujours  maitre  de  ma  vie,  mais  non  pas 
de  m'envoyer  a  la  guerre  avec  de  pareils  generaux." 

La  Hoguette's  first  letter  thus  contained  not  merely  the 
reflection  on  the  Irish  troops,  but  a  little  further  on  a  sense 
of  some  doubt  as  to  how  his  own  conduct  might  be  viewed, 
and  finally  a  severe  denunciation  on  the  bad  generalship,  not 
of  the  Irish,  mind,  but  of  French  officers.  Bad  generalship 
has  lost  battles  far  more  important  than  the  Boyne,  and  it 
was  not  the  first,  nor  will  it  be  the  last  time  that  the  ex- 
cusers  of  bad  leading  have  invented  an  excuse  in  the 
cowardice  of  the  troops.  But  this  letter  was  written  three 
days  after  the  battle  by  a  man  who  had  galloped  over  one 
hundred  and  fifty  miles  in  the  interval.  We  may  assume, 
not  uncharitably,  that  he  was  somewhat  upset  and  un- 

La  Hoguette  soon  discovered  that  there  was  need  to  ex- 
plain his  own  conduct,  and  after  an  interval  of  three 
months  he  sent  from  Galway  his  full  report  of  the  battle. 
In  this  there  is  nothing  whatever  about  the  Irish  running 
away.  The  comparison  to  sheep  is  suppressed. 

On  the  contrary,  he  declares  that  "  Tyrconnell  retired  in 
good  order,"  and  that  "  it  was  only  when  the  two  retiring 
bodies  came  into  contact  at  Duleek  that  confusion  ensued." 
He  also  states  that  "  Oldbridge  was  held  by  only  one 
battalion,"  as  "  two  French  battalions  and  another  Irish 


battalion  which  had  been  placed  there  the  previous  evening 
were  withdrawn  early  in  the  morning,"  that  "  the  one 
battalion  was  overwhelmed  by  a  large  force  collected  out  of 
sight  before  aid  could  reach  it,  as  the  five  supporting 
battalions  were  too  far  back,"  and  finally  that  "  both  the 
French  and  Irish  troops  on  the  left  clamoured  to  be  led  to 
the  attack  of  the  force  under  young  Schomberg."  What 
a  shock  Macaulay  spared  himself  by  not  going  on  to  Vol.  962  ! 

The  Report  is  in  the  main  a  detailed  explanation  of  La 
Hoguette's  own  conduct  as  to  how  he  got  separated  from 
Lauzun  and  the  French  troops,  and  found  himself  close  on 
the  heels  of  James  in  his  flight  to  Dublin.  There  was  at 
least  one  of  the  French  colonels  to  insinuate  that  La 
Hoguette  and  other  French  officers  had  not  altogether 
played  the  hero.  Of  these  undoubtedly  La  Hoguette  had 
fled  the  fastest  and  by  himself.  I  do  not  say  that  La 
Hoguette  was  a  coward.  He  was,  like  the  majority  of  men, 
brave  one  day,  and,  to  put  it  mildly,  not  so  brave  on  other 
days.  "  What  is  rare,"  said  Villars,  in  a  passage  worth 
remembering,  "  is  the  man  who  is  always  brave."  The 
Boyne  was  one  of  La  Hoguette's  bad  days ;  the  Marsaglia, 
where  he  met  a  soldier's  death,  one  of  his  good. 

There  were  others  besides  La  Hoguette.  It  has  always 
been  a  mystery  what  the  French  troops  did  at  the  Boyne, 
and  how  it  was  that  Lauzun  returned  to  France  with  only 
six  hundred  men  fewer  than  he  brought  with  him,  and  the 
mystery  is  increased  by  the  discovery  that  among  these  six 
hundred  missing  were  three  hundred  Germans  in  French 
pay  who  deserted  to  William  after  the  battle  (Hague 
records).  We  have  to  thank  Colonel  Zurlauben  for  clearing 
up  the  mystery.  The  Zurlauben  report  is  the  cream  of  the 
documents  in  Paris  so  far  as  the  Boyne  goes.  The  Colonel, 
a  veteran  who  had  fought  under  Turenne,  and  whose  regi- 
ment formed  a  notable  portion  of  the  Swiss  contingent,  the 
elite  of  the  French  army,  declares  at  the  commencement 
that  "  in  what  he  writes  he  is  actuated  solely  by  regard  for 
the  King's  service."  He  then  exposes  "  the  faults  which 

174          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

are  the  true  cause  of  our  losing  the  battle."  It  is  unneces- 
sary to  expatiate  further  on  the  incapacity  of  Lauzun,  but 
the  following  passage  places  the  retreat  from  the  banks  of 
the  Boyne  in  an  entirely  new  light.  Here  it  is  : — 

"  M.  de  Lauzun  prit  la  partie  de  nous  abandonner  avec 
Messieurs  de  La  Hoguette,  Famechon,  Chamerade  et 

In  other  words,  those  valiant  French  colonels  who  urged 
James  to  flight,  who  saw  the  phantoms  of  William's  cavalry 
in  close  pursuit,  ran  away.  Zurlauben  supplies  another 
piquant  detail.  The  colonels  had  put  their  regimental 
colours  in  their  pockets.  This  is  not  the  invention  of  an 
Irish  apologist.  It  exists  in  the  contemporary  letter  of 
Colonel  Zurlauben  in  Vol.  962  of  the  War  Archives  of 

We  may  borrow  a  little  more  information  from  Colonel 
Zurlauben.  Who  covered  the  retreat,  and  checked  the 
Williamite  pursuit  at  Duleek  ?  He  replies  with  pride, 
"  My  regiment,  seconded  by  the  Irish  cavalry."  Then, 
again,  as  to  the  confusion  in  the  narrow  pass  at  Duleek,  he 
shows  clearly  what  took  place  there.  The  Irish  infantry 
retreating  from  Oldbridge  and  the  French  troops  retiring 
from  Rossnaree  reached  this  point  at  the  same  moment.  In 
the  confusion  the  Irish  threatened  to  break  the  formation 
of  the  Zurlauben  regiment.  The  Colonel  had  to  fire  on 
them  to  keep  them  off.  What  he  feared  was  that  if  they 
got  mixed  up  with  his  men  the  maintenance  of  the  strict 
order  on  which  the  holding  of  the  enemy  in  check  depended 
would  be  impossible.  Incidentally  he  shows  that  the  Irish 
infantry  had  not  retired  more  rapidly  than  the  French,  for 
they  reached  Duleek  together.  The  last  point  is  corrobo- 
rated, as  has  been  shown,  by  La  Hoguette  himself,  who  says 
in  his  full  report  of  October,  1690,  that  "  Tyrconnell  retired 
in  good  order,  but  that  the  two  retiring  wings,  right  and 
left,  came  into  contact  at  Duleek,  and  that  confusion 
followed."  He  had  apparently  forgotten  by  that  time,  or 
had  the  wisdom  to  suppress  his  earlier  comparison  of  the 


Irish  troops  to  sheep.  Of  all  the  French  officers  at  the 
Boyne  Zurlauben  was  the  only  one  summoned  to  Versailles 
to  receive  from  the  King  in  person  his  thanks  and  the  well- 
earned  recompense  of  the  soldier  who  has  done  his  duty. 
Perhaps  a  stronger  proof  of  his  merit  was  furnished  when 
after  his  return  to  France  the  Irish  lords  offered  him  their 
best  men  to  fill  the  gaps  in  his  attenuated  regiment.  We 
shall  meet  him  again  amid  the  dead  and  dying  at  Blenheim. 

The  Battle  of  the  Boyne  having  been  fought  and  lost, 
there  is  one  sequel  of  it  that  may  be  dealt  with  and  dis- 
missed before  closing  this  chapter.  Having  listened  to 
Lauzun's  advice,  James,  accompanied  by  some  horse, 
quitted  the  battlefield  while  yet  the  enemy  was  at  a  distance, 
and  rode  off  to  Dublin.  He  reached  it  the  same  evening, 
and  there  he  found  Major  Wilson  with  letters  from  the 
Queen,  and  news  that  Marshal  Luxemburg  had  defeated 
the  Dutch  forces  at  Fleurus.  It  was  an  indication  of 
James's  curious  way  of  looking  at  things  that  the  impression 
of  his  own  great  reverse  seemed  effaced  by  the  news  of  this 
French  victory,  as  if  the  French  could  have  no  other  object 
in  gaining  victories  than  to  replace  him  on  the  throne.  It 
never  seems  to  have  occurred  to  him  that  he  was  expected  to 
help  French  plans  by  gaining  victories,  or  at  least  prolonging 
the  struggle  with  William  in  Ireland.  The  messenger 
brought  other  messages.  The  Queen  was  calling  out  for  her 
husband's  return.  Was  he  going  to  remain  in  Ireland  for 
ever  ?  In  her  view  now  was  the  time,  with  France  victorious 
in  Flanders,  with  William  absent  in  Ireland,  for  James  to 
return  post  haste  to  France,  obtain  the  aid  of  Louis,  which 
she  did  not  doubt  would  be  rendered,  and  land  in  force  on 
the  English  coast,  and  march  in  triumph  to  London.  It 
was  a  pretty  programme,  and  chimed  in  with  the  views 
James  always  held.  It  reached  him,  too,  at  a  moment  when 
the  Irish  programme,  in  which  he  had  never  had  great  faith 
and  for  which  he  had  never  any  liking,  seemed  hope- 
lessly doomed. 

But  before  deciding  James  must  observe  the  forms.    He 


176  THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

had  only  fled  from  the  Boyne  at  the  reiterated  advice  of 
Lauzun.  He  would  not  flee  from  Ireland  without  the 
advice  of  his  councillors,  so  when  he  had  removed  some  of 
the  dust  from  his  clothes  and  refreshed  himself  after  the 
long  day,  during  which  he  had  undoubtedly  ridden  a  great 
deal,  he  called  them  in  one  by  one  and  asked  them  their 
opinions.  There  were  Baron  Gosworth,  Sir  William  Her- 
bert, the  Marquis  Albeville,  Sir  Richard  Nagle,  and  others ; 
and  they  one  and  all  declared  that  he  should  lose  no  time  in 
going  to  France.  Things  were  in  a  state  of  panic  in  Dublin 
that  night.  Many  of  the  Jacobite  families  left  for  the  West, 
and  everybody  believed  that  the  foe  would  be  at  the  gates 
of  Dublin  in  the  morning. 

James,  finding  everybody  of  his  own  opinion,  decided  to 
start  the  next  morning,  but  about  midnight  he  received  a 
messenger  from  the  Duke  of  Berwick  informing  him  that  he 
had  rallied  about  seven  thousand  Irish  infantry  at  Brasil,  and 
that  he  would  be  glad  if  he  would  send  him  some  horse  and 
dragoons,  so  as  to  enable  him  to  make  his  retreat.  Berwick 
did  not  mention  that  Sarsfield  had  drawn  off  from  both  him 
and  Lauzun,  and  was  rallying  the  cavalry  on  his  own  account. 
Sarsfield's  own  regiment  was  intact,  so  were  Maxwell's  and 
Purcell's  dragoons.  James  sent  his  son  all  the  cavalry  in 
Dublin,  which  was  three  troops  of  Abercorn's  horse  and  six 
troops  of  Luttrell's  dragoons.  Soon  after  came  a  more  press- 
ing message.  Lauzun  had  joined  Berwick,  and  as  they  were 
not  coming  to  Dublin,  they  begged  that  all  the  troops  in  the 
city  should  be  sent  to  Leixlip  to  join  them,  and  that  James 
should  not  delay  his  own  departure  by  a  single  hour. 

James  was  nothing  loath.  He  mounted  his  horse  at  sun- 
rise on  July  12  to  ride  out  of  the  Irish  capital.  The  Duke  of 
Powis,  Henry  Fitzjames,  and  other  members  of  his  house- 
hold, were  with  him,  and  as  escort  he  had  retained  two 
troops  of  his  bodyguard  ;  and  just  as  he  was  starting  La 
Hoguette  arrived.  He  was  followed  shortly  afterwards  by 
three  French  officers,  the  Colonels  Chamerade,  Famechon, 
a.nd  Merode,  who  came  from  Lauzun  to  urge  the  King  to 


hurry  his  departure  and  to  escort  him  ;  but  as  their  horses 
were  tired  out  and  James  had  no  fresh  ones  to  give  them, 
they  were  left  behind.  James  started  at  five  in  the  morning 
and  rode  leisurely  to  Bray,  ten  miles  from  Dublin.  He  left 
there  the  bodyguard  to  hold  the  bridge  till  twelve  o'clock, 
while  he  and  his  few  companions  rode  on  to  Arklow,  where 
they  rested  two  hours  at  Mr.  Hacket's  house,  and  then  re- 
sumed their  journey  southwards.  Two  miles  beyond  Mr. 
Hacket's  they  were  caught  up  by  the  four  French  officers, 
who  declared  that  a  party  of  the  enemy  had  pursued  them 
and  was  close  at  hand.  James  was  incredulous,  but  mended 
his  pace,  and  the  only  explanation  of  the  French  officers' 
story  is  that  they  had  mistaken  some  of  James's  body-guard 
for  the  enemy.  None  of  William's  troops  had  reached 
Dublin  when  James  sailed  from  Duncannon  two  days  after 
he  quitted  the  capital.  By  way  of  explanation  it  may  be 
mentioned  that  Chamerade  was  no  soldier.  He  was  gentle- 
man usher  to  the  Dauphiness,  and  his  nomination  to  com- 
mand one  of  the  regiments  on  the  eve  of  its  departure  for 
Ireland  was  regarded  as  a  Court  job. 

However,  urged  by  the  French  officers,  who  were  prob- 
ably instructed  by  Lauzun  to  get  the  King  out  of  the 
country  before  he  could  change  his  mind,  the  party  rode  all 
night,  reaching  Duncannon  at  sunrise  on  July  13.  Im- 
mediately on  arrival  Hoguette  rode  up  the  river  to  Passage, 
where  he  found  a  St.  Malo  privateer  of  twenty-eight  guns, 
named  the  "  Lauzun."  He  induced  the  captain  to  go  down 
the  river  with  the  tide  and  pick  up  the  King  at  Duncannon. 
In  the  evening  the  ship  got  over  the  bar  to  the  open  sea,  and 
made  its  way  to  Kingsale,  where  there  was  found  a  French 
squadron  of  ten  frigates,  under  Messieurs  Foran  and 
Du  Quesne.  This  squadron  had  been  sent  there  at  Queen 
Mary  d'Este's  personal  request  to  M.  Seignellay,  the 
Minister  of  Marine,  so  that  her  husband  might  have  the 
means  of  escaping  if  things  turned  out  badly. 

From  Kingsale  James  wrote  letters  to  Tyrconnell  re- 
appointing  him  his  Lord  Deputy,  and  then  sailed  for  Brest, 


where  he  arrived  on  July  20,  bringing  the  news  of  his  own 
defeat.  At  Kingsale  the  French  officers  left  him,  returning 
to  their  regiments,  which  were  on  the  march  for  Galway ; 
but  another  French  officer,  the  Marquis  de  Lery,  or  Girar- 
din,  who  had  been  with  him  from  the  beginning,  joined  the 
party  there  and  returned  to  France.  James  reached  St. 
Germains,  as  the  conscientious  Dangeau  records,  on  July  25. 

The  elaborate  defence  made  in  the  official  Life  shows  that 
James  realised  in  later  years  that  his  quitting  Ireland  in  such 
hot  haste  after  a  battle  at  which  he  was  present,  but  of 
which  he  had  seen  nothing,  needed  some  explanation  and 
excuse.  The  blame  had  then  to  be  thrown  on  his  councillors, 
who  had  committed  the  fault  of  showing  themselves 
courtiers  in  giving  the  advice  which  they  believed  would  be 
most  to  the  King's  own  liking.  The  defence  is  well  worth 
placing  on  record. 

"  Tho'  this  sollicitude  for  the  King's  safety  which  seem'd 
to  stifle  in  some  sort  all  other  considerations  was  not  pardon- 
able but  commendable  in  the  Queen,  yet  those  who  ought 
to  have  made  his  own  well-being  and  that  of  his  Subjects, 
together  with  his  honour  and  reputation  in  the  world  a  part 
of  their  concern,  should  not  so  rashly  have  advised  such  dis- 
heartening Councels  as  to  make  his  Majesty  seem  to  abandon 
a  cause  which  had  still  so  much  hopes  of  life  in  it.  He  had 
all  the  best  ports  and  some  of  the  strongest  places  still  be- 
hind him,  he  had  leasure  enough  to  see  if  the  Army  (which 
was  very  little  diminished  by  the  action)  might  not  be 
rally'd  again,  which  his  presence  would  hugely  have  con- 
tributed to,  and  his  speedy  flight  must  needs  discourage 
them  from.  He  might  be  sure  his  own  people  and  especially 
the  Court  of  France  would  be  hardly  induced  to  maintain 
a  war  which  he  himself  so  hastily  abandon'd.  But,  on  the 
other  hand,  it  was  not  so  much  wonder'd  that  the  King 
should  be  prevailed  upon  to  do  it,  considering  the  unanimous 
advice  of  his  Council,  of  the  Generals  themselves  and  of  all 
persons  about  him  (none  of  the  Irish  generals  were  con- 
sulted), that  universal  pannick  fear  which  could  make  those 


French  officers  (men  of  service)  see  visions  of  troops  when 
none  could  certainly  be  within  twenty  miles  of  them,  ex- 
cused in  great  measure  the  King's  takeing  so  wrong  a  reso- 
lution. However,  all  that  would  not  have  determined  him 
to  leave  Ireland  so  soon  had  he  not  conceived  it  the  likeliest 
expedient  to  repair  his  losses  according  to  a  certain  scheme 
he  had  formed  to  himself,  and  which  in  realitie  had  been 
laid  by  the  Court  of  France." 

Leaving  the  last  passage  for  later  consideration,  it  is  note- 
worthy that  James  admitted  subsequently  that  he  took  "  a 
wrong  resolution "  in  fleeing  from  Ireland  immediately 
after  the  Boyne.  He  throws  the  blame  on  his  advisers.  But 
at  the  moment  that  he  took  it  he  had  persuaded  himself  that 
he  was  doing  a  wise  thing,  and  that  he  would  speedily  find 
compensation  for  his  Irish  reverses  in  English  successes. 
That  was  the  "  certain  scheme  he  had  formed  to  himself," 
but  the  allegation  that  it  had  "  in  realitie  been  laid  by  the 
Court  of  France  "  does  not  appear  to  have  any  basis  in  fact, 
and  the  quoted  words  are  those,  not  of  James  himself,  but 
of  the  historiographer,  J.  S.  Clarke,  who  quotes  as  his 
authority  Sir  J.  Dalrymple.  Dalrymple  declares  that  "  in 
his  flight  he  (James)  received  a  letter  written  with  Louis  the 
Fourteenth's  own  hand,  in  which  that  Monarch  informed 
him  of  the  victory  of  Fleurus,  which  had  put  it  in  his  power 
to  draw  his  garrisons  from  Flanders  to  the  coast,  and  of  the 
station  his  Fleet  had  taken  which  prevented  his  enemies 
from  succouring  each  other.  In  this  letter  Louis  urged  him 
to  sail  instantly  for  France,  and  to  leave  the  conduct  of  the 
war  to  his  Generals,  with  orders  to  protract  it,  and  promised 
to  land  him  in  England  with  thirty  thousand  men." 

The  first  point  to  note  about  this  is  that  as  it  was  received 
"  in,"  that  is  to  say  during  "  his  flight,"  it  did  not  influence 
him  to  flee.  He  had  already  fled.  But  there  is  a  much 
stronger  objection  to  be  taken.  James,  on  reaching  St. 
Germains,  received  a  cool  greeting  from  Louis.  James  at 
once  made  the  request  that  Louis  should  lend  him  an  army 
to  make  a  descent  on  England,  and  Louis  excused  himself 

180          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

by  saying  that  he  very  much  regretted  it,  but  "  this  is  the 
only  request  he  cannot  concede  to  his  dear  brother."  Now 
if  James  had  in  his  possession  such  a  letter  as  Dalrymple 
states,  all  he  would  have  had  to  do  would  be  to  hand 
it  back  to  Louis.  Moreover,  if  Louis  had  written  such  a 
letter,  he  would  not  have  repudiated  its  purport  less  than 
three  weeks  after  it  was  written.  There  can  be  no  doubt, 
then,  that  Louis  never  wrote  any  such  letter.  The  proba- 
bility is  that  the  Queen  placed  her  own  interpretation  on 
something  the  King  of  France  said  to  her,  and  gave  too 
literal  expression  to  what  she  hoped  he  meant.  There  re- 
mains on  record  one  remark  of  the  Queen's  in  connection 
with  this  very  victory  of  Fleurus  which  seems  to  bear  out 
this  interpretation — "  a  quoi  nous  servent  toutes  ces 
victoires,  si  le  Roi  perit  en  Irlande,  qu'a  me  faire  desesperer 

As  to  what  was  thought  in  France  about  James's  conduct, 
there  is  no  ambiguity.  Louvois  roundly  accused  the  King 
of  having  "  spoiled  everything  by  a  mixture  of  ignorance, 
over-confidence,  and  folly."  Marshal  Luxemburg  summed 
up  the  general  verdict  in  a  neat  sentence — "  Ceux  qui 
aiment  le  roi  d'Angleterre  doivent  etre  bien  aise  de  le  voir 
en  sante,  mais  ceux  qui  aiment  sa  gloire  ont  lieu  a  deplorer 
le  personnage  qu'il  a  fait."  Which  may  be  rendered — 
"  Those  who  love  the  King  of  England  must  be  very  glad  to 
see  him  safe  and  sound  ;  but  those  who  think  of  his  reputa- 
tion have  reason  to  deplore  the  figure  he  has  cut." 

If  James's  flight  from  Ireland  lowered  his  reputation  in 
France,  it  suffered  irretrievable  damage  among  the  Irish. 
In  the  subsequent  Stuart  risings  of  1708,  1715,  and  1745 
not  a  hand  was  raised  in  Ireland  for  James  III.  The  Stuart 
cause  was  dead.  The  struggle  in  Ireland  continued  with 
varying  fortunes  for  nearly  eighteen  months  after  his  de- 
parture, but  it  was  no  longer  a  war  for  the  Stuarts.  The 
motives  were  vague,  the  views  of  the  leaders  differed  ;  but 
so  far  as  there  was  an  impulse  it  was  national  and  not 
Jacobite.  There  was  the  old,  unreasoning  racial  antipathy 


to  the  English,  there  was  the  bitter  animosity  of  Catholic 
and  Protestant,  but  sympathy  with  James  and  his  family 
was  cold  and  gone.  The  flight  after  the  Boyne  only  com- 
pleted an  alienation  that  had  begun  as  soon  as  the  Irish 
people  realised  that  James  had  no  sympathy  with  the 
national  aspirations  of  the  Emerald  Isle,  and  that  he  looked 
upon  it  as  no  more  than  the  only  convenient  or  indeed 
available  stepping-stone  for  the  recovery  of  England. 

But  even  this  might  have  been  forgiven  him  if  he  had  dis- 
played any  personal  sympathy  with  Irishmen.  He  kept  them 
almost  ostentatiously  at  arm's  length.  His  household  was 
composed  of  Englishmen  or  Scotsmen — Powis,  Howard, 
Dover,  and  Melf ort — his  favourite  military  men  were  of  the 
same  nationalities,  Dorington,  Sheldon,  Sutherland,  Max- 
well, Wa.uchope,  Buchan.  He  did  not  like  Mountcashell, 
Sarsfield  he  dubbed  a  fool  and  only  made  a  Brigadier  at  the 
instance  of  D'Avaux,  and  until  Simon  Luttrell  was  made 
Governor  of  Dublin,  again  through  D'Avaux,  there  was  no 
case  of  his  rewarding  a  native  of  the  country.  Moreover, 
he  did  not  like  the  disintegrating  effect  of  the  legislation  of 
the  Irish  Parliament.  He  opposed  as  long  as  he  dared  all 
the  proposals  to  separate  the  legislation  of  Ireland  from 
England  ;  and  when  he  at  length  gave  a  tardy  and  reluctant 
assent,  every  one  around  him  knew  that  if  he  recovered  the 
throne  of  England  he  would  get  out  of  his  promise  as  well 
as  he  could. 

Finally,  he  was  by  character  a  man  of  moderation  in  his 
religious  policy,  and  this  was  the  more  remarkable  because 
converts  have  always  had  the  reputation  of  being  excessive 
in  their  zeal.  He  was  moderate  by  temper,  but  he  was 
doubly  moderate  because  he  was  persuaded  that  in  that 
direction  alone  lay  his  chance  of  returning  to  London.  He 
was  very  fearful  of  being  implicated  in  Irish  excesses.  He 
knew  quite  well  that  the  prejudice  against  the  Irish  in 
England  was  great,  that  the  massacres  by  Cromwell  had  not 
obliterated  the  earlier  massacres  by  the  Irish,  and  that  any 
repetition  of  them  would  intensify  the  feeling  of  disappro- 


bation  and  aversion.  From  the  first  day  to  the  last  of  his 
stay  in  Ireland  he  set  himself  against  all  extreme  measures, 
and  he  refused  to  sanction  not  merely  the  wholesale  arrest  of 
Protestants,  but  even  the  laying  waste  of  the  Protestant 
districts  in  Ulster  in  order  to  deprive  Schomberg  on  his 
arrival  of  the  means  of  sustaining  his  army. 

These  views  and  conduct  were  highly  creditable  to  James. 
They  showed  he  was  free  from  prejudice,  as  well  as  a  man  of 
humane  sentiments.  But  they  were  not  those  calculated  to 
evoke  enthusiasm  in  Ireland.  What  the  Irish  Catholics 
wanted  to  be  assured  of  was  that  their  race  and  religion 
should  be  predominant  in  Ireland,  that  the  tie  with  England 
should  be  broken,  that  as  the  Catholics  had  had  their  estates 
confiscated  in  1651,  so  should  the  Protestants  lose  theirs  in 
1689-90,  and  that  James  Stuart  should  set  up  in  Dublin  the 
Court  of  an  Irish  King.  James  had  no  sympathy  whatever 
with  any  of  these  projects.  The  idea  of  separation  from 
England  was  hateful  to  him.  He  also  knew  that  the  scheme 
was  quite  incapable  of  being  placed  on  any  permanent  basis. 
Ireland  might  be  separated  from  England  for  a  time,  but 
by  the  inexorable  laws  of  political  gravitation  one  country 
must  control  the  other  by  force  or  by  mutual  common  sense 
and  good  feeling.  But  in  running  counter  to  and  thwarting 
popular  aspirations  James  alienated  Irish  goodwill  and 
support.  Before  the  Boyne  he  was  already  regarded  with 
indifference.  His  conduct  on  the  day  of  the  battle,  the 
great  haste  with  which  he  put  his  person  in  a  place  of  safety, 
which  to  the  public  mind  could  not  be  explained  by  any 
motive  except  cowardice,  turned  that  indifference  to  con- 
tempt. It  is  very  dubious  whether  Sarsfield  ever  uttered 
them,  but  the  words  with  which  he  is  credited — "  Exchange 
Kings  and  we  will  fight  you  over  again,"  faithfully  reflected 
Irish  opinion. 

Chapter  VII 



army  of  "  cowstealers,"  the  rabble  horde 
on  which  Macaulay  pours  out  his  vials  of  con- 
tempt, moved  westwards  unmolested  and  un- 
pursued  towards  the  Shannon  and  Limerick.  At 
the  same  time  the  members  of  the  little  Court  at  Dublin, 
despite  the  difficulties  of  the  route  and  their  poverty, 
scorn  coming  to  terms  with  the  usurper  and  proceed  as  best 
they  can  to  the  same  destination.  The  scattered  garrisons 
draw  to  the  same  rallying-point,  and  early  in  August  we 
find  the  Irish  forces  behind  the  Shannon.  In  Limerick 
itself  are  20,000  Irish  infantry,  six  miles  away  is  the  camp 
of  the  cavalry,  some  3500  in  number,  under  the  command 
of  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  with  Sarsfield,  Sheldon,  and 
Maxwell  under  him,  while  still  further  off  at  Galway  is 
Lauzun  with  his  seven  battalions  more  or  less  intact.  In 
the  south,  Cork,  Waterf ord,  and  Kingsale  are  held  for  King 
James,  and  Cork,  at  least,  is  held  in  some  force. 

With  regard  to  Lauzun  he  has  formed  only  one  resolution, 
and  that  is  not  to  risk  the  life  of  another  French  soldier. 
He  has  failed  in  his  mission,  and  lamentably  failed.  He 
has  led  a  French  army  in  the  field,  and  prevented  its 
fighting.  His  own  idea  is  to  get  it  back  to  France  with  as 
few  casualties  as  possible,  so  that  it  may  win  glory  on  other 
fields  and  under  other  leaders.  Well  may  Louvois,  on 
learning  the  facts,  call  him  "  a  contemptible  person."  But 
if  Lauzun  has  neither  courage  nor  ability  he  has  still  a  very 
high  opinion  of  himself,  and  as  he  rides  by  Limerick  to  seek 
a  surer  shelter  for  himself  in  the  far  west  he  exclaims  : 



"  A  place  that  could  be  captured  by  a  bombardment  of 
roasted  apples."  He  should  have  added,  "  if  the  com- 
mandant's name  were  Lauzun."  We  have  a  different  tale 
to  tell. 

With  Lauzun  to  Galway  went  Tyrconnell.  He  had  for 
the  moment  been  infected  by  the  pessimism  of  his  French 
comrade,  and  he  had  no  hope  that  the  army  which  had  failed 
on  the  Boyne  would  succeed  at  Limerick.  He  had  also  lost 
the  principal  object  for  which  he  had  been  striving.  The 
departure  of  James  left  him  without  a  cause,  and  the 
thought  occurred  to  him  and  to  others  if  there  was  nothing 
to  fight  for  was  it  worth  while  to  go  on  fighting  ?  This 
thought  did  not  then  present  itself  to  him  for  the  first  time. 
It  had  found  expression  in  October,  1689,  when  James 
would  not  attack  Schomberg,  declaring  that  he  needed 
five  or  six  French  battalions  to  drive  him  into  the  sea,  and 
Tyrconnell  had  consulted  D'Avaux  as  to  whether  it  would 
not  be  better  for  James  to  return  to  France  and  leave  him, 
Tyrconnell,  at  liberty  to  come  to  terms  with  William. 

At  that  time  Tyrconnell  had  some  hopes  about  the  Irish 
army ;  now  with  diminished  numbers  and  shaken  con- 
fidence he  could  have  few  or  none.  Besides,  his  views 
about  the  value  of  French  aid  were  modified.  The  French 
regiments  had  come  and  they  had  done  very  little.  They 
had  been  present  at  the  one  battle  of  the  war,  and  for  all  the 
practical  good  most  of  them  had  done  they  might  just  as 
well  never  have  left  France.  Tyrconnell  was  despondent, 
and  he  had  reason  to  be  so.  Lauzun  was  no  cheerful  col- 
league. The  French  officers  and  troops  were  sick  of  the 
business  and  anxious  to  be  gone.  The  war  in  Ireland 
offered  them  no  chance  of  glory,  and  none  at  all  of  spoil. 
Both  Tyrconnell  and  Lauzun  agreed  that  Limerick  could 
not  hold  out,  and  both  saw  in  that  circumstance  a  new 
peril.  Lauzun  saw  that  it  would  jeopardise  his  departure, 
Tyrconnell  that  it  would  reduce  his  chances  of  arranging 
favourable  terms  with  William.  But  even  the  clearness  of 
the  consequences  did  not  inspire  Lauzun  with  the  courage 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE    OF    LIMERICK        185 

to  move  out  with  his  troops  to  embarrass  or  attack  the  army 
that  beleaguered  Limerick.  Contemptible  as  his  conduct 
was  at  the  Boyne,  it  was  criminal  at  Galway.  Tyrconnell, 
having  no  troops  under  him,  could  do  nothing,  but  he 
vetoed  Berwick's  offer  to  lead  a  raid  with  his  3500  cavalry 
on  the  rear  and  line  of  communication  of  William's  army. 
The  solution  of  the  situation  did  not  rest  with  the  timid 
refugees  at  Galway,  but  with  those  who  were  playing  a 
man's  part  behind  the  low  and  feeble  walls  of  Limerick. 

When  William  found  that  the  Irish  army  had  rallied  on 
the  Shannon  he  decided  to  move  against  it,  more  especially 
as  the  glorified  report  of  the  fight  on  the  Boyne  sent  over  to 
impress  the  English  public  had  consolidated  the  position  of 
his  Government  in  the  principal  kingdom.  Some  minor 
successes  in  Ireland  also  encouraged  the  belief  that  the  task 
of  dispersing  the  beaten  Irish  army  would  prove  neither  very 
difficult,  nor  very  protracted.  Drogheda,  where  there  was 
a  garrison  of  1300  men  under  Lord  Iveagh,  surrendered 
without  a  blow  on  the  one  condition  that  the  men  were  not 
to  be  made  prisoners  of  war.  They  gave  up  their  weapons 
and  were  allowed  to  march  to  Athlone.  A  similar  success 
was  achieved  at  Wexford,  whence  the  garrison  escaped, 
leaving  behind  it  only  a  considerable  quantity  of  stores, 
arms,  and  powder.  The  garrison  at  Duncannon  parleyed 
and  surrendered  with  leave  to  march  to  Limerick.  Water- 
ford,  where  there  were  two  regiments  (Kavanagh  and 
Barrett),  did  likewise  on  the  condition  that  they  should 
march  to  Cork  without  molestation.  All  these  places  might 
have  resisted,  and  although  there  is  no  reason  to  think  that 
they  could  have  held  out  for  any  long  period,  their  resis- 
tance would  have  caused  great  delay  in  the  execution  of 
William's  plan  against  Limerick.  The  yielding  up  of  these 
places,  one  after  another,  must  have  strengthened  his 
belief  that  there  was  no  fight  left  in  the  Irish  army. 

At  only  one  place  did  the  Orange  army  find  the  opposition 
that  should  have  met  it  at  all  points.  The  most  important 
place  on  the  Shannon  above  Limerick  is  Athlone,  where 


there  was  a  bridge  over  the  river.  Through  it  passed  the 
main  route  to  Connaught,  and  Tyrconnell,  knowing  that  on 
its  preservation  depended  the  security  of  Galway,  had 
entrusted  its  defence  to  Colonel  Richard  Grace,  an  old 
officer  of  experience  in  the  war  of  the  Confederation  and 
afterwards  on  the  Continent.  Colonel  Grace  had  his  own 
regiment,  which  had  done  well  at  the  Boyne,  and  some  other 
troops.  He  had  also  the  disarmed  garrison  of  Drogheda,  of 
whom  he  may  have  been  able  to  arm  a  few,  but  numeri- 
cally he  had  but  a  small  force  to  withstand  the  large  body 
of  troops  William  detached  from  his  main  body  for  the 
capture  of  Athlone. 

This  task  he  had  entrusted  to  General  Douglas,  one  of 
the  most  capable  of  his  officers,  and  he  placed  under  his 
orders  three  regiments  of  horse,  two  of  dragoons,  and  ten 
of  infantry,  with  an  artillery  force  of  ten  field-pieces  and 
two  mortars.  If  a  conclusion  were  formed  from  what  had 
occurred  elsewhere,  the  mere  appearance  of  such  a  body  of 
troops  ought  to  have  brought  about  the  immediate  sur- 
render of  Athlone.  But  as  it  happened  Colonel  Grace  was 
a  man  of  firm  fibre,  and  when  General  Douglas  summoned 
him  to  surrender  he  returned  his  compliments  with  an 
intimation  that  such  was  not  his  intention.  Thereupon 
Douglas  began  to  bombard  Athlone  with  his  ten  field-pieces 
and  two  mortars,  but  after  a  week  of  it  he  found  that  he  had 
made  no  progress,  that  his  ammunition  was  being  ex- 
hausted, and  that  he  had  lost  between  three  and  four 
hundred  men  by  the  enemy's  fire  and  sickness.  He  then 
gave  up  the  attempt  to  force  the  passage  of  the  Shannon, 
and  marched  by  the  left  bank  to  join  the  main  army,  which 
had  now  reached  Limerick.  The  repulse  at  Athlone  was 
the  warning  precursor  of  the  greater  repulse  at  Limerick. 
It  was  the  first  flicker  of  success  that  raised  the  hopes  of 
those  who  upheld  the  Jacobite  cause. 

While  William  was  marching  towards  Limerick  he 
received  news  that  for  a  moment  greatly  disconcerted  him, 
and  threatened  to  ruin  all  his  plans.  He  learnt  first  that 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       187 

his  army  in  Flanders,  under  the  Duke  of  Waldeck,  had  been 
defeated  at  Fleurus,  and  then  that  the  joint  Anglo-Dutch 
fleet  had  been  defeated  by  Tourville  off  Beachy  Head.  The 
latter  news  was  the  more  serious  because  the  English  fleet 
had  fought  in  such  a  manner  as  to  raise  serious  doubts  as  to 
its  loyalty  to  himself.  In  face  of  this  intelligence  William 
halted  in  his  march,  and  hastened  back  to  Dublin  with  the 
idea  of  returning  to  England.  But  at  Dublin  he  received 
reassuring  news  from  Queen  Mary,  who  was  carrying  on 
the  Government  in  his  absence.  The  situation  in  the 
Netherlands  presented  no  serious  danger.  Fleurus  was 
another  of  those  battles  of  the  period  destitute  of  results. 
The  reported  landing  of  French  troops  on  English  soil 
was  insignificant.  Tourville  had  gone  back  to  his  ports. 
The  House  of  Commons  had  made  a  generous  grant  for  the 
building  of  new  ships  to  replace  those  lost  in  the  Channel. 
Completely  reassured  William  retraced  his  steps,  resolved 
to  bring  the  affair  of  Limerick  to  a  head  as  soon  as  possible. 

Limerick  was  described  at  this  time  as  "  a  weak  town 
having  no  outward  works,  but  a  toy  of  a  palisade  before  a 
little  part  of  the  wall,  nor  a  rampart  within.  The  wall  is  of 
an  old  standing  and  far  from  being  thick."  This  description 
becomes  clearer  when  elucidated  by  the  one  given  by  the 
Duke  of  Berwick.  He  wrote  :  "  The  place  had  no  fortifica- 
tions but  a  wall  without  ramparts,  and  some  miserable  little 
towers  without  ditches.  We  had  made  a  sort  of  covered  way 
all  round,  and  a  kind  of  horn  work  palisaded  before  the 
great  gate,  but  the  enemy  did  not  attack  it  on  that  side." 
The  French  report,  undoubtedly  drafted  by  Boisseleau, 
states  that  :  "  The  fortifications  were  inconsiderable,  the 
wall  being  made  of  stone,  but  not  cemented,  and  without 
ramparts ;  all  the  works  were  old  and  irregular  in  form." 
Boisseleau  did  what  he  could  to  put  the  place  in  a  better 
state  of  defence,  but  this  could  not  have  amounted  to  a 
great  deal  considering  the  short  time  at  his  disposal. 

As  garrison  Boisseleau  had  under  him  the  whole  of  the 
Irish  infantry  with  the  exception  of  the  three  garrisons  at 


Athlone,  Cork,  and  Kingsale,  and  Berwick  places  its  strength 
at  20,000  men,  adding,  however,  that  "  only  half  of  them 
were  armed."  Tyrconnell  stated  that  it  numbered  only 
8000  men,  and  probably  he  was  only  counting  armed  men. 
One  specific  instance  may  be  given.  The  Macmahon 
regiment  had  no  arms,  but  it  took  a  prominent  part  in  the 
repulse  of  the  final  assault  by  hurling  stones  on  the  assail- 

The  French  reports  state  that  there  were  twenty-eight 
Irish  infantry  regiments  in  Limerick,  one  cavalry  regiment 
(Henry  Luttrell's)  and  one  dragoon  regiment  (Maxwell's). 
This  list  would  not  give  a  greater  strength  than  15,000 

Boisseleau,  who  by  this  time  had  begun  to  understand  the 
Irish  and  to  be  trusted  by  them,  was  appointed  Comman- 
dant, and  he  had  under  him  the  best  of  the  commanding 
officers,  Dorington  and  Maxwell,  Gordon  O'Neil  and  Simon 
Luttrell,  John  Hamilton  and  Richard  Talbot  the  Younger, 
Kilmallock  and  Fitzgerald.  With  the  cavalry  not  far  off 
were  Sheldon  and  Sarsfield  under  Berwick. 

On  August  1 8,  N.S.  (that  is  to  say  thirty-eight  days  after 
the  Boyne),  William  unfurled  his  standard  in  front  of 
Limerick,  and  at  dawn  of  the  following  day  he  sent  a 
trumpeter  to  summon  Boisseleau  to  surrender  on  the 
honourable  terms  which  he  would  be  happy  to  concede. 
Boisseleau  sent  a  reply,  in  which  covert  sarcasm  and  con- 
fidence in  his  own  position  were  equally  revealed,  to  the 
effect  that  he  was  very  much  surprised  by  the  letter  he  had 
received,  and  that  he  hoped  to  deserve  a  better  opinion 
from  the  Prince  of  Orange  by  the  vigorous  defence  of  the 
place,  which  he  intended  to  offer  with  the  aid  of  the  troops 
of  the  King  of  Great  Britain.  Whereupon  William  gave 
orders  for  the  erection  of  two  batteries,  one  at  Fort 
Cromwell  of  five  12-prs.,  and  the  other  of  four  similar  guns 
opposite  the  hornwork.  He  also  dug  a  trench  opposite  the 
centre  redoubt,  the  wall  of  which  was  so  low  that  the 
English  troops  were  able  to  throw  grenades  over  it. 

THE    FIRST    SIEGE    OF    LIMERICK        189 

Although  he  began  the  bombardment  at  once,  the  Prince 
was  expecting  his  heavy  siege  artillery  in  a  few  days,  and 
once  it  arrived  he  knew  that  he  could  lay  all  the  defences 
of  the  place  level  with  the  ground.  He  was  full  of  hope 
of  thus  putting  a  speedy  end  to  the  siege,  and  when  a 
deserter  brought  news  to  the  besieged  of  the  approaching 
convoy  the  hearts  of  Boisseleau  and  his  companions-in- 
arms sank  within  them.  How  could  the  convoy  approaching 
from  Dublin  be  stopped  ?  Who  was  the  man  to  stop  it  ? 
Unless  it  were  stopped  the  fate  of  Limerick  seemed  sealed. 

The  cavalry  camp  lay  some  miles  off  in  County  Clare, 
but  Sarsfield  was  in  Limerick  watching  with  eager  im- 
petuosity the  lines  of  the  leaguering  army  and  the  fire  of 
the  two  batteries  to  which  the  garrison  had  no  means  of 
replying.  He  was  in  the  town  on  August  21,  when  the 
deserter  brought  the  news  of  the  approaching  convoy,  and 
he  at  once  undertook  to  make  an  attempt  to  intercept  it. 
He  rode  off  to  the  cavalry  camp  to  obtain  the  loan  of  some 
cavalry  for  the  execution  of  his  raid,  and  although  Berwick 
was  not  well  disposed  towards  Sarsfield  and  personally 
piqued  by  the  vetoing  of  his  own  plan,  he  could  not  deny 
Sarsfield  the  use  of  his  own  regiment  and  a  few  squadrons 
of  dragoons.  These  troops  together  numbered  500  men, 
and  with  them  he  crossed  the  Shannon,  by  swimming,  at 
Killaloe,  some  distance  below  Limerick,  and  making  a  wide 
detour  through  Tipperary  he  got  in  the  rear  of  the  convoy 
with  the  artillery  train.  It  had  reached  its  last  halting-place 
at  Ballineedy,  a  small  ruined  castle  only  seven  miles  from 
William's  camp. 

Sarsfield  waited  till  nightfall,  and  then  while  the  camp 
was  lulled  in  sleep  and  fancied  security  he  charged  into  it 
at  the  head  of  his  horsemen,  who  raised  the  cry  of  Sarsfield. 
The  guards  were  cut  down  to  the  last  man,  so  were  many  of 
the  waggoners,  and  it  was  also  alleged  some  women.  Then 
Sarsfield  filled  the  eight  battering-pieces  with  powder, 
fixed  the  muzzles  in  the  ground  and  blew  out  their  breaches. 
At  the  same  time  he  destroyed  all  the  ammunition  and 

190          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

stores,  and  the  great  explosion  and  conflagration  at  Balli- 
needy  told  the  spectators  in  William's  camp  what  had 
happened.  Having  effected  his  object,  Sarsfield  galloped 
off  as  hard  as  he  could  to  reach  the  other  side  of  the  Shannon, 
which  he  accomplished  without  loss  or  hindrance  by  taking 
a  fresh  route  and  crossing  at  Banagher.  In  this  way  he 
evaded  the  pursuit  of  the  cavalry  sent  from  William's  camp 
to  meet  the  convoy.  The  blame  for  this  mishap  was  cast 
upon  the  Earl  of  Portland  (Bentinck),  who  put  off  leaving 
with  his  cavalry  till  the  morning.  Sarsfield  had  done  well 
at  Sligo,  but  he  did  better  at  Ballineedy,  for  his  daring  and 
successful  raid  was  undoubtedly  the  cause  of  William's 
failure  to  capture  Limerick.  The  story  at  the  time  was 
that  "  the  loss  of  his  artillery  struck  the  Prince  of  Orange 
into  a  great  rage,"  which  can  well  be  believed.  It  is  not 
surprising  that  with  the  Irish  Sarsfield  became  more  than 
ever  the  popular  champion. 

Having  lost  his  battering-pieces  William  had  to  do  what 
he  could  with  his  12-prs.  and  some  heavier  pieces  that  were 
fetched  from  Waterford,  and  after  a  week's  bombardment 
he  proceeded  to  attack  the  two  advanced  redoubts.  One  of 
these,  known  as  the  Stone  Fort,  was  captured  with  small 
loss,  and  on  August  27  he  delivered  his  first  assault  on  the 
other  with  three  regiments  led  by  the  Prince  of  Wurtem- 
berg  and  Generals  Kirke  and  Tettau.  This  force  reached 
the  covered  way,  but  was  eventually  driven  out  of  it  by  the 
heavy  musket  fire  from  the  walls.  The  next  day  a  fresh 
battery  of  four  guns  was  erected  at  a  point  in  the  centre 
commanding  the  covered  way,  and  a  good  many  of  the 
garrison  were  killed  there  before  they  could  be  withdrawn. 
During  the  night  of  the  29th,  Wurtemberg  got  his  force 
to  within  thirty  yards  of  the  second  redoubt  with  the  idea 
of  attacking  it  in  the  morning.  Boisseleau  took  his  measures 
to  defeat  it  by  placing  150  good  marksmen  under  Colonel 
Fitzgerald  in  the  redoubt  over  night,  and  by  ordering 
Lord  Kilmallock  to  take  up  a  position  with  300  cavalry  so 
that  he  could  fall  on  the  flank  of  the  attacking  force. 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       191 

Thanks  to  these  precautions  the  attack  of  the  30th  made 
with  Danish  and  Prussian  troops  was  repulsed  with  con- 
siderable loss.  The  chief  credit  of  this  repulse  was  due  to 
Lord  Kilmallock's  vigorous  charge. 

After  this  repulse  the  bombardment  was  resumed,  and 
thanks  to  the  fire  of  a  fresh  battery  the  advanced  redoubt 
was  completely  destroyed.  Notwithstanding  this,  the 
garrison  continued  to  hold  it,  and  were  only  expelled  after 
some  fierce  fighting  and  heavy  losses  on  both  sides.  Even 
then  the  besieged  continued  to  oppose  the  occupation  of 
the  redoubt,  and  several  serious  encounters  took  place  in 
which  the  Irish  lost  100  killed  and  the  besiegers  300  killed. 
But  William  caused  an  overwhelming  force  of  infantry,  led 
by  all  the  French  refugee  officers,  who  had  been  under  the 
command  of  Schomberg,  to  be  thrown  into  the  redoubt, 
which  was  then  occupied.  Having  obtained  possession  of 
the  redoubt,  William  at  once  caused  a  fresh  battery  of  five 
24~prs.  and  one  36-pr.  to  be  erected  in  it,  and  with  the  fire 
from  these  guns  at  close  range  he  proceeded  to  batter  down 
the  wall,  and  the  little  towers,  described  by  the  Duke  of 
Berwick,  from  which  a  galling  cross  fire  had  been  kept  up. 
From  this  position,  also,  a  large  number  of  bombs  were 
thrown  into  the  town,  setting  fire  to  several  of  the  houses. 
After  this  second  and,  as  it  proved,  final  bombardment  had 
gone  on  for  five  days,  a  wide  strip  of  the  wall,  not  less  than 
one  hundred  yards  in  length,  had  been  demolished,  and  on 
September  6  all  seemed  ready  for  the  assault. 

But  Boisseleau  on  his  side  had  not  been  inactive.  He 
saw  that  the  critical  hour  was  close  at  hand,  and  he  made  his 
preparations  very  quietly  and  very  effectually  to  repel  the 
great  assault  when  it  was  delivered.  The  Irish  made  scarcely 
any  reply  to  the  bombardment,  but  they  were  hard  at  work 
on  the  construction  of  an  inner  defence  thirty  yards 
behind  the  old  wall.  In  good  positions  along  this  rampart 
the  French  officer  placed  three  small  cannon  with  their 
muzzles  pointing  on  the  gaps  through  which  the  storming 
parties  were  sure  to  come,  and  he  kept  them  concealed 

192          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

until  the  very  last  moment.  At  the  same  time  he  collected 
the  whole  of  the  garrison  in  the  side  streets  in  readiness  to 
relieve  and  reinforce  those  at  the  front. 

These  preparations  had  scarcely  been  completed  when 
William  gave  the  order  for  assaulting  the  town  at  two  in 
the  afternoon  of  September  6.  The  counterscarp  was  the 
object  of  the  first  attack,  and  for  this  task  William  ordered 
up  the  grenadier  companies  of  all  the  regiments  and,  as  a 
support,  several  of  the  best  Huguenot  and  Danish  regi- 
ments. Before  this  onset  the  Irish  in  the  covered  way  fell 
back,  reaching  by  a  cross  way  the  Gate  of  St.  John,  which 
remained  throughout  the  fight  in  their  possession.  The 
following  account  of  the  attack  on  the  breach  is  translated 
from  the  one  written  by  Boisseleau  for  the  information  of 
his  Government. 

"  The  enemy  mounted  the  breach  with  great  vigour,  and 
the  besieged  waited  the  attack  with  great  firmness,  not  firing 
a  shot  because  they  were  much  inferior  in  weapons  and 
ammunition.  When  they  reached  the  crest  of  the  breach 
the  three  cannons  loaded  with  bullets  and  shrapnel  began  to 
fire  on  them,  and  at  the  same  time  the  men  holding  the 
inner  rampart  began  to  fire  volleys.  The  enemy  were 
much  shaken  by  this  double  fire,  although  they  had  eighteen 
guns  playing  on  the  wall  and  kept  up  a  heavy  musketry  fire 
as  well.  Three  Irish  regiments  (those  of  the  Grand  Prior, 
Boisseleau,  and  another  whose  name  escapes  me),  with 
their  standards  planted  in  front  of  them  in  the  breach, 
held  their  ground  with  extraordinary  firmness  although 
they  had  no  cover,  and  at  no  time  was  there  any  difficulty 
or  hesitation  in  filling  up  the  gaps.  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Beaurepaire  (of  Boisseleau's  regiment),  several  officers,  and 
about  200  men  were  killed  in  this  part  of  the  fight,  which 
lasted  about  four  hours.  Four  hundred  men  of  the 
Macmahon  regiment,  who  had  no  arms,  threw  stones  at  the 
assailants,  which  seriously  incommoded  them. 

"  The  besiegers  strove  hard,  nevertheless,  to  establish  a 
means  of  communication  between  the  part  of  the  covered 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       193 

way  they  had  occupied  and  their  own  trenches,  and  as  the 
dragoons  of  Maxwell  and  Talbot,  stationed  at  St.  John's 
Gate,  were  ready  to  move  forward  to  support  the  defenders 
of  the  breach,  the  Prince  of  Orange  directed  two  English 
regiments  to  attack  and  drive  them  out  of  their  position. 
But  these  regiments  were  received  with  so  much  valour 
that  they  were  compelled  to  retire  in  disorder,  which  was 
much  increased  by  the  accidental  explosion  of  four  barrels 
of  powder.  This  killed  thirty  of  them  and  made  the  rest 
take  to  flight  in  the  belief  that  the  place  was  mined. 
Thereupon  Talbot  attacked  with  great  energy,  and  although 
fresh  troops  were  brought  up  they  were  forced  to  abandon 
the  whole  of  the  covered  way.  Then  Boisseleau  ordered  a 
general  advance,  driving  the  assailants  with  sword  and  pike 
through  the  breach  back  to  their  trenches.  Although  the 
enemy  put  their  loss  at  the  lowest  possible  total,  there  is  no 
doubt  that  it  reached  2000  killed  and  wounded.  In  the 
Frangois  de  Cambon  regiment  alone  there  remained  only 
six  officers  fit  for  service,  and  seventy-one  were  either 
killed  or  wounded.  The  other  Huguenot  regiment,  and 
those  of  Douglas,  Meath,  Stuart,  Cutts,  and  Drogheda 
also  suffered  heavily.  The  Danes  had  forty-five  captains, 
lieutenants,  and  ensigns  killed  or  disabled." 

The  effect  of  this  rude  repulse  was  that  after  two  or  three 
days'  desultory  firing,  and  much  talk  of  delivering  a  second 
assault,  William  decided  to  abandon  the  siege  and  returned 
to  Dublin  on  his  way  back  to  England.  His  army,  bearing 
a  long  train  of  sick  and  wounded,  followed  by  slow  marches, 
having  burnt  their  camp  and  accidentally  the  house  which 
was  their  chief  hospital  and  which  contained  many  wounded. 
During  the  whole  of  the  siege  William  lost  over  5000  men, 
which  included  some  of  his  best  troops  and  officers.  The 
defenders  lost  1062  men  and  97  officers  in  killed  and 
wounded.  The  French  report  of  the  defence  reads  that 
"  the  officers  in  the  defending  force  greatly  distinguished 
themselves  during  a  siege  of  twenty-one  days  of  open 
trenches,  and  the  Irish  soldiers  not  merely  fought  well,  but 


i94          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

sustained  with  extraordinary  patience  all  the  fatigues,  which 
were  very  great,  seeing  that  they  were  always  under  arms, 
and  that  they  were  in  want  of  the  simplest  necessaries  of  life. 
Brigadier  John  Hamilton  (the  one  who  never  served  in  the 
French  army)  assisted  me  with  constancy  and  ability." 

The  following  is  the  Duke  of  Berwick's  description  of 
the  siege  : — 

"  At  length  the  enemy  began  to  move,  and  proceeded 
from  Dublin  to  Limerick.  The  same  day  they  made  their 
appearance  the  French  troops  retired  to  Galway.  We  left 
M.  de  Boisseleau,  a  Frenchman,  Captain  in  H.  M.  C. 
Majesty's  Guards  and  Major-General,  to  command  in  the 
town  with  all  our  Irish  infantry  amounting  to  about  20,000 
men,  of  whom,  however,  not  more  than  one  half  were  armed. 
We  kept  the  field  with  our  cavalry,  which  might  make  up 
3500  horse.  We  encamped  at  first  five  miles  from  Limerick 
on  this  (west)  side  of  the  river  Shannon,  which  passes 
through  it,  in  order  to  keep  up  a  free  communication  with 
the  town.  In  this  our  success  was  complete  ;  the  enemy 
never  daring  to  attempt  investing  it  on  our  side  nor  even 
to  send  any  party  across  the  river,  which  is  only  fordable 
in  some  parts.  The  place  had  no  fortifications,  but  a 
wall  without  ramparts,  and  some  miserable  little  towers 
without  ditches.  We  had  made  a  sort  of  covered  way  all 
round,  and  a  kind  of  hornwork  palisaded  before  the  great 
gate,  but  the  enemy  did  not  attack  it  on  that  side. 

"  They  opened  their  trenches  at  a  distance  to  the  left ; 
they  erected  batteries,  made  a  breach  of  100  toises  and  then 
summoned  the  garrison  to  surrender. 

"  The  Irish  would  not  listen  to  the  message  ;  in  conse- 
quence the  Prince  of  Orange  caused  a  general  assault  to  be 
made  with  10,000  men.  The  trenches  not  being  more  than 
two  toises  from  the  palisade,  and  there  being  no  ditch  the 
enemy  had  mounted  the  breach  before  any  alarm  was  given 
of  the  attack.  The  fire  of  a  battery,  which  Boisseleau  had 
formed  on  the  inside,  checked  them  for  some  little  time,  but 
they  soon  made  their  way  into  the  town.  The  Irish  forces 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE    OF   LIMERICK        195 

advanced  on  every  side,  and  charged  the  enemy  afterwards 
in  the  street  with  so  much  bravery  that  they  beat  them 
back  as  far  as  the  top  of  the  breach,  where  they  endeavoured 
to  make  a  lodgment.  Brigadier  Talbot,  who  was  then  in 
the  horn  work  with  500  men,  ran  round  the  wall  on  the 
outside  and,  charging  them  in  the  rear,  drove  them  out, 
and  entering  by  the  breach  posted  himself  there.  In  the 
action  the  enemy  had  2000  men  killed  on  the  spot ;  on  our 
side  there  were  not  so  many  as  400.  The  Prince  of  Orange, 
seeing  the  ill-success  of  this  attack  and  that  he  had  lost  his 
choicest  troops  in  it,  resolved  to  raise  the  siege.  He  gave 
out  through  Europe  that  the  continued  rains  had  been  the 
cause  of  it,  but  I  can  affirm  that  not  a  single  drop  of  rain 
fell  for  above  a  month  before,  or  for  three  weeks  after.  At 
the  time  the  siege  was  raised  there  remained  in  Limerick  not 
more  than  fifty  barrels  of  powder,  and  we  had  not  in  the 
whole  tract  of  Ireland  which  belonged  to  us  enough  to 
double  the  quantity." 

William,  disappointed  and  enraged  with  his  defeat  when 
he  counted  on  a  sure  success,  had  to  seek  some  excuse  or 
explanation  of  his  failure  to  satisfy  the  public  opinion  of 
England.  He  found  it  in  the  weather.  It  was  given  out 
that  it  had  rained  so  heavily  and  so  persistently  that  the 
River  Shannon  overflowed  its  banks,  that  the  country 
became  like  a  morass,  and  that  the  cavalry  horses  could 
hardly  keep  their  footing.  It  would  have  been  a  disgrace 
for  the  victors  of  the  Boyne  to  have  been  vanquished  two 
months  later  by  the  same  foe  over  whom  they  had  gained 
a  success  which  all  the  official  scribes  were  occupied  in 
magnifying,  but  it  was  none  at  all  to  be  beaten  by  King 
Pluvius.  From  one  end  of  England  to  the  other  the  story 
ran  that  William  had  retired  from  before  Limerick  in 
consequence  of  the  rain. 

The  Duke  of  Berwick,  whose  word  is  not  to  be  disbelieved, 
and  who  had  no  reason,  as  will  be  shown,  to  deviate  from 
the  truth,  replies  to  this  statement  with  a  formal  con- 
tradiction :  "  I  can  affirm  that  not  a  single  drop  of  rain  fell 

196          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

for  above  a  month  before  or  for  three  weeks  after."  If  the 
Shannon  had  been  swollen  Sarsfield  could  not  have  crossed 
it  twice,  if  the  roads  had  been  soft  and  sticky  he  could  not 
have  made  the  long  raid  through  Clare  and  Cork  to  Balli- 
needy.  Berwick  had  no  share  in  the  honour  and  glory  of 
the  defence  of  Limerick,  he  was  jealous  of  Sarsneld's 
reputation,  and  if  there  had  been  any  natural  cause  to 
diminish  the  merit  of  the  defence  it  is  only  too  probable 
that  he  would  have  said  something  to  disparage  the  leaders 
in  the  city  of  Limerick.  Far  from  doing  so,  he  gives  his 
formal  word  in  contradiction  to  the  story  of  William  of 

Now  with  regard  to  William's  explanation  there  was 
nothing  very  unnatural  or  blameworthy  in  his  giving  it.  He 
was  in  such  a  position  of  general  insecurity  that  he  was 
bound  to  try  and  explain  away  his  defeat.  It  was  also  not 
unnatural  that  his  heterogeneous  army  of  veterans  should 
welcome  any  excuse  to  explain  how  they  had  been  beaten 
by  an  untrained  army  on  which  they  affected  to  look  down 
with  contempt.  The  suggestion  that  this  failure  was  due 
to  the  downpour  of  the  overcharged  heavens  was,  therefore, 
welcomed  as  a  consoling  palliative,  which  no  witness  that 
the  world  would  be  at  all  likely  to  accept  as  impartial 
seemed  likely  ever  to  dispose  of.  They  reckoned  without 
the  Duke  of  Berwick. 

But  while  it  was  perfectly  excusable  and  natural  for  William 
to  invent  an  excuse  to  serve  his  temporary  need,  there  is  no 
excuse  for  Macaulay,  writing  a  hundred  and  sixty  years  after 
the  event  at  the  bar  of  history,  to  repeat  and  adopt  blindly 
the  temporary  expedients  of  the  Dutch  Prince.  He  adopts 
the  statement  of  Story  and  others  in  William's  camp  that 
"  rain  fell  in  torrents,  that  the  Shannon  was  swollen,  the 
ground  sodden,  etc."  And  although  he  cites  Berwick's 
statement  in  a  footnote,  he  passes  it  by  as  valueless,  but  he 
adopted  them  so  blindly  and  readily  that  he  did  not  even 
examine  and  weigh  carefully  what  his  own  authorities 
stated.  First,  with  regard  to  Story,  Macaulay  quotes  merely 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF    LIMERICK       197 

that  "  it  was  cloudy  all  about,  and  rained  very  fast  so  that 
everybody  began  to  dread  the  consequences  of  it,"  but  he 
omits  to  state  that  this  was  after  the  repulse  of  the  attempt 
to  storm  on  September  6.  Story's  version  is  that  it  was 
apprehension  of  what  might  be  the  consequences  of  further 
rains  that  led  to  the  retreat  of  the  army,  not  that  the 
attack  had  failed  on  account  of  the  rain.  Story  is  a  very 
poor  authority  to  lean  on.  His  assertion  that  Boisseleau 
told  the  Irish  in  a  speech  before  his  departure  that  the 
success  of  the  defence  was  due  to  himself,  and  that  the 
Irish  would  not  be  able  to  defend  it  if  again  attacked,  bears 
the  hall-mark  of  unveracity  on  its  face.  Boisseleau  told 
William's  officers  on  September  7,  when  they  asked  to  bury 
their  dead,  that  he  was  ready  to  give  them  a  better  recep- 
tion than  before  whenever  they  cared  to  renew  the  attack. 
Tyrconnell  had  just  reinforced  him  with  a  thousand 
fusiliers  and  dragoons. 

Nor  does  Macaulay  quote  his  second  witness,  Dumont 
de  Bostaquet,  any  more  accurately  or  fairly.  Macaulay 
declares  that  "  Dumont  says  that  before  the  siege  was 
raised  the  rains  had  been  most  violent,  that  the  Shannon 
was  swollen,  that  the  earth  was  soaked,  that  the  horses 
could  not  keep  their  feet."  Here  are  the  exact  facts  as 
given  by  Dumont.  In  the  first  place  the  statement  refers 
to  a  particular  interval  during  the  attack  while  a  fresh 
battery  was  being  prepared.  Dumont,  a  Huguenot  officer 
already  referred  to  at  the  Boyne,  was  sent  to  the  river 
bank  to  try  and  cross  the  Shannon  with  some  cavalry.  The 
reference  to  the  ground  being  heavy  refers  only  to  the  river 
bank,  and  exclusively  to  the  one  day  when  Dumont  was 
seeking  to  cross  the  Shannon.  He  adds  :  "  The  rain 
stopped,"  and  notwithstanding  the  rain,  he  reports  "  the 
river  had  not  risen."  Macaulay's  reputation  as  a  serious 
and  trustworthy  historian  has  been  so  seriously  undermined 
that  it  would  probably  furnish  a  fruitful  harvest  of 
misstatement  and  misrepresentation  for  a  careful  student 
with  the  necessary  leisure  to  examine  all  the  statements  in 


his  history  seriatim,  and  discover  how  he  utilised  historical 
materials,  and  with  what  degree  or  deficiency  of  good  faith. 
Even  here,  with  limited  opportunity  for  excursions  from  our 
main  narrative,  several  gross  perversions  of  the  evidence 
have  been  exposed. 

But  this  is  not  the  only  serious  misstatement  to  be  found 
in  Macaulay's  description.  He  declares  that  "  the  Irish 
fled  into  the  town  and  were  followed  by  the  assailants, 
who,  in  the  excitement  of  victory,  did  not  wait  for  orders. 
Then  began  a  terrible  street  fight.  .  .  .  The  very  women 
of  Limerick  mingled  in  the  combat,  stood  firmly  under  the 
hottest  fire  and  flung  stones  and  broken  bottles  at  the 
enemy."  What  are  the  facts  ?  William's  troops  never  got 
past  the  inner  temporary  rampart  which  Boisseleau  erected 
thirty  yards  behind  the  wall.  There  was  no  street  fighting, 
the  women  were  not  engaged,  and  Macaulay's  picture  is 
one  of  the  imagination. 

Again  :  "  In  the  moment  when  the  conflict  was  fiercest 
a  mine  exploded  and  hurled  a  fine  German  battalion  into  the 
air  !  "  This  was  the  affair  of  the  four  powder  barrels  which 
killed  thirty  men  of  an  English  regiment.  If  a  German 
battalion  had  been  annihilated,  then  William's  loss  would 
have  to  go  up  by  nearly  a  thousand  men.  The  exploding 
mine  is  a  freak  of  pure  romance. 

Shortly  after  the  raising  of  the  siege  a  French  fleet 
arrived  at  Galway  for  the  purpose  of  conveying  the  French 
troops  back  to  their  country,  and  by  the  same  order  all  the 
French  officers,  including  Boisseleau,  were  to  return  with 
them.  As  this  meant  the  withdrawal  of  all  French  aid,  and 
as  the  stores  for  war  were  in  a  very  depleted  condition,  this 
practical  abandonment  of  the  Irish  cause  filled  the  Duke 
of  Tyrconnell  with  lively  apprehension.  He  decided  to 
proceed  to  France,  to  explain  the  exact  situation,  and  to 
appeal  to  Louis  for  renewed  assistance.  The  English  army 
had  retreated,  both  sides  would  go  into  winter  quarters, 
and  he  could  carry  out  his  mission  and  be  back  again  before 
the  time  for  fresh  activity  had  come  round.  But  as  an 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       199 

avant-coureur  he  sent  Anthony  Hamilton  to  France  with 
news  of  the  raising  of  the  siege,  and  then  he  came  to 
Limerick  for  a  few  days  to  arrange  things  during  his 
absence.  He  first  appointed  the  Duke  of  Berwick  to  act  as 
Viceroy,  but  the  French  reports  show  that  Berwick  was  not 
left  supreme.  In  military  matters  he  was  to  take  counsel 
with  Lord  Clare,  Sarsfield,  Maxwell,  Galmoye,  and  Sheldon. 
In  civil  matters  he  w7as  to  act  by  the  advice  of  Albeville, 
Riverston,  and  Plowden. 

General  Dorington  was  nominated  commandant  of 
Limerick,  and  Sarsfield  was  propitiated  with  the  assurance 
that  Tyrconnell  would  bring  back  the  patent  of  an  Earl  as 
his  reward  for  the  affair  of  Ballineedy.  Having  made  these 
appointments,  Tyrconnell  returned  to  Galway,  where  he 
went  on  board  the  French  fleet,  and  sailed  away  with 
Lauzun  for  France.  But  while  Tyrconnell  held  the 
supreme  place  to  which  there  was  no  other  aspirant,  he  was 
not  in  complete  harmony  with  many  of  the  Irish  leaders, 
who  strongly  dissented  from  his  proposals  to  make  favour- 
able terms  with  William's  Government.  Berwick  says  that 
at  this  time  "  Tyrconnell  had  become  fearful  and  heavy," 
and  that  "  neither  his  age  nor  his  bulk  suited  him  for 
active  work."  He  also  states  that  Brigadier  Simon  Luttrell 
and  Sarsfield  proposed  to  him  to  arrest  Tyrconnell,  where- 
upon the  Duke  rejoined  that  to  do  so  would  be  tantamount 
to  committing  high  treason. 

At  the  same  time  the  Duke  feigned  to  share  their  views, 
and  suggested  that  they  should  send  delegates  to  King 
James  at  St.  Germains.  This^suggestion  was  adopted, 
and  the  two  Luttrells,  Henry  and  Simon,  Colonel  Nicholas 
Purcell  and  Creagh,  Bishop  of  Cork,  were  sent  as  the 
independent  Irish  delegation  to  St.  Germains,  proceeding 
to  France  on  a  ship  from  Limerick.  At  the  same  time 
Berwick  sent  Brigadier  Maxwell,  an  officer  in  his  confidence, 
with  them  nominally  on  a  mission  about  military  matters, 
but  really  with  a  secret  message  advising  James  not  to  allow 
Henry  Luttrell  or  Nicholas  Purcell  to  return.  This 

200          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

advice  James  was  unable  to  follow,  for  when  he  suggested 
that  the  individuals  named  should  remain  in  France  they 
quietly  replied  that  if  they  did  not  return  their  comrades 
would  seize  the  Duke  of  Berwick  and  hold  him  as  a  hostage. 
Under  these  circumstances,  James  thought  it  best  to  let 
them  return,  contenting  himself  with  sending  by  Maxwell 
an  order  to  Berwick  to  leave  Ireland  as  soon  as  possible. 

Tyrconnell  met  with  a  good  reception  at  the  French 
Court  and  made  a  favourable  impression  there.  It  may  be 
interesting  to  state  that  his  wife,  the  Duchess,  had  preceded 
him.  Her  arrival  at  Brest  on  August  25, 1690,  is  mentioned 
in  the  French  report,  and  she  was  accompanied  by  one  of 
her  married  daughters,  Lady  Kingsland,  and  her  unmarried 
daughters,  of  whom  one  shortly  afterwards  became  a  nun 
at  St.  Omer.  The  Duke's  only  daughter  by  his  first  wife 
was  also  with  her.  Tyrconnell  had  several  audiences  with 
Louis,  who  assigned  him  an  apartment  at  Versailles.  He 
also  presented  him  with  his  portrait  set  in  brilliants.  At 
James's  hands  he  received  the  Garter  on  the  vacancy  caused 
by  the  death  of  the  Duke  of  Grafton  at  Cork.  On  January 
i,  1691,  Tyrconnell  started  on  his  return  journey,  taking 
with  him  some  stores  and  arms  and  a  few  engineer  and 
artillery  officers.  Louis  had  also  given  him  a  promise  that 
he  would  send  further  assistance  as  soon  as  he  received  a 
message  from  him  stating  definitely  what  he  wanted. 

The  reception  that  awaited  Lauzun  was  a  cool  one, 
although  Louis  did  not  altogether  share  the  views  of 
Louvois  about  him.  Whatever  else  he  had  failed  to  do,  he 
had  brought  back  the  French  regiments  almost  intact,  and 
French  soldiers  had  become  so  very  greatly  needed  that  this 
was  no  trifling  service.  On  balance  France  had  gained  from 
her  intervention  in  Ireland  the  Mountcashell  brigade  which 
had  done  so  well  in  Savoy.  The  idea  that  other  forces 
might  be  drawn  from  Ireland  seems  also  to  have  taken  some 
root,  for  in  the  first  letters  announcing  Lauzun's  intention 
to  return  it  was  stated,  "  he  will  bring  with  him  8000  or 
9000  more  Irish  troops."  But  Louvois  had  his  own  opinion. 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       201 

In  his  eyes  Lauzun  was  "  a  contemptible  fellow  "  and  "  a 
poltroon,"  and  "  the  first  French  general  to  prevent  the 
army  under  his  orders  from  fighting." 

Boisseleau  was  received  in  the_  manner  to  which  his 
meritorious  conduct  in  drilling  the  Irish  troops  and  in 
defending  Limerick  entitled  him.  Louis  received  him  in 
audience,  raised  him  to  the  rank  of  Brigadier,  and  gave 
him  a  pension  of  500  crowns.  La  Hoguette,  too,  after  an 
interview  of  over  an  hour  with  Louis  on  October  19  (when 
to  the  surprise  of  Sourches  and  others  his  explanations 
of  his  own  conduct  in  Ireland  were  accepted),  was  sent  to 
Savoy  to  succeed  to  the  command  held  by  St.  Ruth,  of 
whom  we  shall  be  hearing  more  in  a  later  chapter.  With 
regard  to  the  French  troops,  they  were  to  have  the  oppor- 
tunity of  gaining  on  other  fields  the  reputation  for  prowess 
denied  them  in  Ireland. 

The  following  particulars  as  to  the  French  troops  brought 
back  by  Lauzun  are  taken  from  the  Paris  archives.  There 
came  back  to  Brest  with  him  304  officers  and  4346  soldiers 
fit  for  service.  In  addition  there  were  747  sick  officers  and 
men,  65  artillery  officers  and  men,  and  103  officers  who  had 
been  serving  with  Irish  regiments.  During  the  voyage 
Colonel  Merode  and  many  of  the  sick  died,  and  the  con- 
dition of  the  troops  on  being  inspected  in  France  is  stated 
to  have  been  deplorable.  Misfortune  seemed  to  dog  the 
expedition,  for  a  considerable  number  of  the  Famechon 
regiment  were  drowned  by  the  upsetting  of  a  boat  on  which 
they  were  being  landed.  The  French  intendants  reported 
that  to  recover  their  former  efficiency  most  of  the  regiments 
would  have  to  be  reformed.  Boisseleau  attributed  this 
deterioration  to  the  poverty  of  Ireland — "  a  country  where 
there  is  no  corn,  no  bread,  no  medicine,  and  where  a 
wounded  man  is  as  good  as  dead."  Lauzun's  corps  returned 
then  to  France  in  October,  1690,  in  very  much  the  same 
condition  as  the  Mountcashell  division  had  reached  it  in 
April  of  the  same  year. 

The  retreat  of  William's  army   from   before   Limerick, 

202          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

followed  by  the  withdrawal  of  the  French  contingent  under 
Lauzun,  marks  the  close  of  the  first  phase  in  the  Irish  war. 
When  the  French  squadron  sailed  from  Galway  the  Irish 
party  was  again  left  to  its  own  unaided  resources  as  it  had 
been  prior  to  James's  arrival  in  March,  1689  ;  but  it  was 
no  longer  in  the  same  advantageous  position.  At  the 
earlier  date  Tyrconnell  held  the  whole  of  Ireland  outside 
Londonderry  and  Enniskillen.  He  possessed  Dublin  and  all 
the  ports  of  the  kingdom.  He  had  raised  an  army  of  50,000 
men,  which  was  not  free  from  defects,  but  which  was  of 
great  promise.  It  was  ill-officered,  its  weapons  were  bad 
in  quality  and  insufficient  in  quantity,  but  if  a  rich  country 
like  France  had  set  itself  the  task  of  providing  the  means 
and  the  leaders,  there  was  no  limit  to  what  it  might  have 
accomplished  in  Ireland  alone. 

But  by  the  later  date  the  situation  had  materially  changed. 
The  national  party  held  the  west  and  the  south-west.  It 
had  lost  Dublin  and  all  the  Leinster  coast.  A  large  hostile 
army  was  in  occupation  of  the  eastern  and  northern  parts 
of  the  island.  The  Protestants  had  been  re-armed  and 
reorganised.  The  Catholics  in  the  provinces  held  by 
William  had  been  stripped  of  their  lands  and  ruthlessly 
turned  out  of  their  homes.  Finally,  the  magazines  were 
exhausted,  and  the  Irish  leaders  at  Limerick  were  confronted 
with  the  prospect  that  if  supplies  did  not  come  from 
France  in  the  spring  of  the  new  year,  there  would  be  no 
powder  or  lead  to  carry  on  the  war. 

And  as  a  warning  of  the  grave  peril  that  stared  them 
in  the  face,  came  Marlborough's  brief  but  exceedingly 
successful  campaign  in  County  Cork.  When  William 
returned  to  England  and  found  that  things  were  not  so 
bad  in  Flanders  as  he  feared  they  might  be  in  consequence 
of  his  defeat  at  Fleurus,  and  that  Admiral  Tourville  had 
not  followed  up  his  success  at  Beachy  Head,  he  bethought 
him  that  it  might  be  as  well  to  do  something  to  render  it 
more  difficult  for  the  French  to  land  troops  in  Ireland. 
He  reflected  that  the  southern  ports,  which  they  had 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       203 

hitherto  used,  were  in  the  hands  of  the  Irish  party,  and 
whether  it  was  his  own  idea  or  that  of  the  man  to  whose 
command  he  entrusted  its  execution,  he  decided  to  fit  out 
a  combined  naval  and  military  expedition  for  the  capture 
of  Cork  and  Kingsale.  Whoever  conceived  the  expedition 
there  can  be  no  dispute  as  to  the  transcendent  ability  of  the 
man  to  whose  hands  it  had  been  entrusted.  John,  Lord 
Churchill  had  been  one  of  the  last  to  abandon  the  cause  of 
James  in  1688,  not  because  he  had  any  sympathy  with  the 
Orange  party,  but  because  his  wife's  relations  with  the 
Princess  Anne  promised  to  make  him  ultimately  the  most 
powerful  man  in  the  kingdom.  His  want  of  sympathy  with 
the  Dutch  Prince  made  him  a  Jacobite  intriguer  throughout 
his  life,  of  which  there  will  be  sufficient  evidence  hereafter. 
But  in  1690  he  was  a  Lieutenant-General  in  William's 
service,  and  to  attach  him  more  closely  to  the  new  Govern- 
ment he  was  promoted  Earl  of  Marlborough.  When 
William,  smarting  under  his  repulse  at  Limerick,  conceived 
the  idea  of  applying  a  salve  to  his  wounds  by  achieving 
some  further  success  in  Ireland  before  the  winter  arrived, 
he  turned  to  Marlborough  and  asked  him  to  lead  an 
expedition  to  capture  Cork  and  Kingsale,  or  it  may  well 
have  been  that  Marlborough  himself  suggested  the  project ; 
but  in  either  case  Marlborough  was  delighted  to  receive 
the  command  of  his  first  independent  expedition.  There  was 
another  interesting  feature  about  it.  It  was  composed  exclu- 
sively of  English  troops.  There  were  seven  complete  foot 
regiments,  two  marine  regiments,  and  some  extra  companies 
of  foot,  and  the  warships  and  transports  made  up  a  fleet  of 
over  eighty  ships.  The  first  and  most  important  point  to 
be  attacked  was  Cork,  where  seven  weak  Irish  foot  regiments 
were  quartered,  two  at  least  having  already  surrendered  at 
Waterford  to  the  Orange  army  and  been  allowed  to  go  on 
the  terms  of  the  capitulation.  Their  strength  did  not 
exceed  4000  men,  about  half  that  of  Marlborough's  land 
force.  The  defences  of  Cork  were  even  more  insignificant 
than  those  of  Limerick,  and  when  D'Avaux  saw  them  in  1689 

204          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

he  had  strongly  advised  that  the  walls  should  be  levelled, 
and  that  the  place  should  be  declared  incapable  of  defence. 
But  this  was  not  the  Jacobite  way  of  doing  things.  It  was 
perfectly  clear  that  Cork  could  not  be  defended  ;  therefore 
a  garrison  should  be  left  there  to  be  sacrificed  in  attempting 
the  impossible.  The  seven  regiments  in  the  place  were  those 
of  Clancarty,  Tyrone,  Kavanagh,  Mac  Elligott,  Macarty 
Mor,  Barrett,  and  Sullivan,  of  which  the  first-named  five 
had  suffered  at  the  Boyne.  There  was  no  artillery  with  the 
force,  and  only  a  small  fort  with  two  or  three  old  cannon 
guarded  the  approach  to  the  harbour.  The  proper  and 
obvious  course  for  the  commander  to  follow  was  to  abandon 
the  town  on  the  arrival  of  the  English  fleet  and  to  retreat  to 
Limerick.  But  unfortunately  Colonel  Mac  Elligott  had 
been  blamed  for  surrendering  Waterf ord  without  defending 
it,  and  he  conceived  that  his  honour  compelled  him  to 
offer  resistance  at  Cork,  which  any  sensible  man  must  have 
known  would  be  useless.  To  make  the  case  more  hopeless  it 
was  known  that  General  Ginkel  had  detached  a  force  of 
5000  men  from  Kilkenny  to  attack  Cork  from  the  land 

On  October  I  (N.S.)  Marlborough's  fleet  arrived,  and 
sending  in  his  warships  in  single  file  they  knocked  the  old 
fort  to  pieces  with  their  broadsides  as  they  passed  by.  The 
troops  were  then  landed  without  opposition  and  the  invest- 
ment was  completed.  Mac  Elligott  held  out  for  about  a 
week,  by  which  time  all  his  powder  was  expended,  and  then 
he  and  his  garrison  had  to  surrender  themselves  as  prisoners 
of  war.  In  one  of  the  last  encounters  the  young  Duke  of 
Grafton  (son  of  Charles  II)  was  mortally  wounded.  On 
this  occasion  a  new  practice  was  adopted.  Up  to  this  point 
the  garrisons  which  surrendered  had  been  disarmed  and 
allowed  to  go  free,  but  a  new  departure  was  now  made. 
The  garrison  was  to  be  deported  out  of  the  kingdom  and 
it  was  proposed  to  exchange  it  eventually  in  Flanders  for 
Danish  and  Huguenot  prisoners  captured  in  France.  This 
incident  will  be  dealt  with  later  on,  but  it  represents  a 

THE    FIRST   SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK       205 

forgotten  phase  in  the  abstraction  of  the  flower  of  Irish 
manhood  from  their  native  land. 

Cork  captured,  Marlborough  next  turned  his  attention 
to  Kingsale,  but  before  he  started  one  of  his  ships,  the 
"  Breda,"  of  sixty  guns,  blew  up  in  the  harbour,  everyone 
on  .board,  including  twenty-five  prisoners,  among  them 
Colonel  Charles  Kavanagh,  being  killed,  except  Colonel 
John  Barrett,  and  Colonel  Kavanagh's  young  son,  who  were 
blown  so  far  into  the  water  that  they  escaped  without 
serious  injury.  At  Kingsale  Sir  Edward  Scott  was  the 
commander,  but  although  he  had  only  a  small  force  he  was 
well  supplied  with  provisions  and  ammunition  and  made  a 
good  defence.  After  holding  out  for  a  week  and  losing  300 
men  out  of  a  total  garrison  of  1500,  Sir  Edward  surrendered 
on  honourable  terms,  he  and  his  men  marching  out  with 
arms  and  baggage  and  withdrawing  unmolested  to  Limerick. 
Marlborough  complimented  Scott,  whom  we  shall  meet 
again,  on  the  excellence  of  his  defence.  James  blamed  Mac 
Elligott  very  much  for  his  want  of  prudence  in  not  coming 
to  terms,  whereby  a  large  force  was  sacrificed ;  but  there 
does  not  seem  any  justification  for  his  charge  against  Marl- 
borough,  which  alleged  that  at  Cork  he  would  not  bury  the 
wounded  prisoners  when  they  died,  so  that  they  might 
spread  a  contagion  among  the  survivors.  The  truth  is 
probably  that  he  had  so  many  prisoners  on  his  hands  that 
he  did  not  know  what  to  do  with  them.  When  Marl- 
borough  returned  to  England  in  January,  1691,  he  brought 
back  with  him  150  Irish  officers,  including  the  Earls  of 
Clancarty  and  Tyrone,  who  were  put  in  the  Tower  pending 
despatch  to  Ostend,  but  transport  for  the  poor  Irish 
soldiers  was  not  provided  until  the  month  of  March. 

Marlborough's  successes  on  the  south  coast  were  obtained 
while  Lauzun  was  on  the  sea  between  Galway  and  Brest,  and 
were  not  known  in  France  for  many  weeks  later.  It  was 
clear  at  once  that  a  very  considerable  impediment  had  thus 
been  placed  in  the  way  of  sending  troops  from  France,  for, 
as  Dangeau  expresses  it,  "  no  port  of  landing  remained 

206          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

in  the  possession  of  the  King."  The  efforts  made  to  find 
some  compensation  for  this  blow  were  not  very  fortunate. 
The  Duke  of  Berwick  made  a  raid  on  Bir  Castle,  but  owing 
to  the  unskilf ulness  of  his  gunners  he  failed  to  take  it  at  once, 
and  then  had  to  retreat  rather  precipitately  on  the  approach 
of  General  Douglas  with  large  reinforcements.  In  Kerry 
another  body  of  Irish  levies  was  assembled  with  the  idea  of 
advancing  upon  Cork,  but  a  rumour  spreading  that  the 
English  troops  were  approaching,  the  leaders  thought  it 
wise  to  burn  the  little  town  of  Killarney,  to  destroy  the 
crops,  and  to  retire  into  the  hills. 

The  year  1690  did  not  close,  therefore,  as  favourably  for 
the  national  cause  as  it  might  have  done.  Despite  the 
success  at  Limerick  the  Irish  had  lost  between  Cork  and 
Kingsale  5000  of  their  trained  men.  The  stores  were 
brought  to  the  lowest  point  of  depletion.  The  troops, 
officers  and  privates  alike,  were  in  rags.  Their  powder 
was  reduced  to  a  few  barrels.  There  was  no  source  from 
which  their  needs  could  be  supplied  save  France,  and  to  a 
certain  extent  communications  with  that  country  had  been 
severed,  or  at  least  rendered  more  difficult.  While  every- 
thing was  black  around  them  they  were  confronted  with 
the  clear  and  certain  prospect  that  in  the  spring  their 
adversaries  would  resume  the  struggle  with  more  troops  and 
full  supplies  provided  by  the  wealth  of  England. 

The  reader  will  have  no  doubt  that  at  least  one  man 
rejoiced  when  the  King's  order,  brought  by  the  Duke  of 
Tyrconnell,  summoned  the  Duke  of  Berwick  from  this 
depressing  scene.  A  few  weeks  later  King  Louis  received 
the  young  Duke  at  Marly,  and  Dangeau,  not  then  fore- 
seeing all  the  importance  of  what  he  wrote,  makes  the 
conscientious  entry  :  "  He  will  now  serve  in  France." 

Chapter  VIII 


IT  was  pointed  out  in  a  previous  chapter  that  as  soon  as 
Count  D'Avaux  landed  in  Ireland,  in  March,  1689,  he 
began  to  sound  General  McCarthy,  shortly  afterwards 
created  by  James  Viscount  Mountcashell,  as  to  his 
willingness  to  command  an  Irish  corps  destined  for  the 
service  of  the  King  of  France  in  exchange  for  French 
troops  to  be  sent  to  Ireland.  Lord  Mountcashell  (to  give 
him  his  subsequent  title)  welcomed  the  proposal.  From  a 
passage  in  one  of  the  unpublished  documents  in  the 
French  War  Department  it  would  even  seem  that  he  was 
the  originator  of  the  whole  project,  having  written,  proprio 
motu,  to  propose  an  exchange  of  troops  as  early  as  February, 
1689,  and  offering  himself  to  command  the  Irish  contingent. 
Dangeau  tells  us  that  he  had  already  served  in  the  French 
army,  where  he  was  well  known  by  the  name  of  Mouskry, 
and  we  have  already  stated  that  he  had  been  selected  by 
Louvois  to  command  the  regiment  of  English  gendarmes,  on 
Sir  George  Hamilton's  death,  in  preference  to  Churchill. 
Mouskry,  a  name  which  has  puzzled  many  commentators, 
is  clearly  Muskerry,  and  Dangeau  probably  confounded  him 
with  his  elder  brother  Viscount  Muskerry  (son  of  the  Earl 
of  Clancarty),  who  first  distinguished  himself  in  the  French 
service,  and  then  made  himself  somewhat  notorious  in 
France  by  his  sensational  departure  as  described  by  Claren- 
don in  Vol.  VII  of  his  History.  This  Lord  Muskerry,  the 
first  of  his  family  to  serve  in  France,  was  killed  on  board  the 
"  Royal  Charles  "  in  1665,  in  the  battle  with  the  Dutch  in 
the  Medway,  and  buried  in  Westminster  Abbey.  The 


208          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

McCarthys  were  therefore  well  known  in  France,  and  for 
the  success  of  the  scheme  it  was  desirable  that  the  com- 
mander, at  least,  of  the  new  corps  should  know  that 
country,  and  also  be  acquainted  with  the  strict  discipline 
that  characterised  the  French  army  at  the  period. 

It  was  not  until  after  Melfort's  departure  and  James's 
admission  that  a  nucleus  of  trained  French  troops  was 
indispensable  for  the  expulsion  of  Schomberg's  army  that 
the  project  took  a  practical  form.  At  that  moment  Mount- 
cashell  happened  to  be  a  prisoner  in  the  enemy's  hands ; 
and  although  it  was  proposed  to  exchange  him  for  Lord 
Mount  joy,  the  question  of  nominating  the  first  commander 
of  the  corps  could  not  be  left  unsettled  for  the  arrival  of 
that  contingency.  D'Avaux  passed  the  eligibles  in  review, 
and  on  the  whole  inclined  to  the  choice  of  the  Duke  of 
Berwick,  although  he  pronounced  him  "  very  brave,  but  a 
bad  officer,  and  with  no  common  sense."  The  only  fetters 
placed  on  the  ambassador's  independent  judgment  were 
Louvois's  peremptory  order  that  "  in  no  case  was  the 
command  to  be  given  to  any  of  the  Hamiltons ;  neither  was 
a  Hamilton  to  be  appointed  Colonel  of  any  of  the  regiments 
sent  over."  The  question  of  the  commanding  officer  was 
happily  solved  by  Lord  Mountcashell's  escape  shortly  after- 
wards, whereupon  he  proceeded  to  Cork  and  took  charge 
of  the  operation  of  preparing  the  brigade  that  was  to  bear 
his  name.  It  is  not  uninteresting  to  note  that  D'Avaux, 
fully  conscious  of  the  jealousy  of  French  generals  for 
interlopers,  added  that  while  Mountcashell  was  a  first-rate 
officer  "  his  near-sightedness  would  effectually  prevent  his 
ever  becoming  a  great  general." 

The  French  authorities  wished  that  each  regiment  sent 
should  be  composed  of  sixteen  companies  of  100  men 
apiece,  and  although  this  condition  could  not  be  complied 
with,  it  explains  how  and  why  the  five  regiments  sent  from 
Ireland  were  reformed  into  three  on  arrival  in  France. 
With  a  view  to  complying  with  the  French  proposal,  four 
regiments  were  first  named  for  the  service.  They  were 


those  of  Galway,  Daniel  O'Brien,  Neil  O'Neil,  and  Feilding. 
The  way  proposed  for  the  raising  of  these  regiments  was  for 
James  to  appeal  to  the  head  of  a  certain  number  of  Irish 
families  to  raise  a  regiment,  the  command  to  be  given  to  a 
junior  member  of  the  house.  Letters  of  this  nature  were 
written  to  the  Earl  of  Clanrickarde,  Viscount  Clare, 
Viscount  Dillon,  and  probably  Viscount  Mountgarret. 
The  O' Neil  failed  to  raise  a  regiment  and  retired  from  the 
original  list.  Lord  Clanrickarde  had  raised  a  regiment  for 
the  King's  service,  but  the  idea  of  sending  it  to  France  with 
his  son  and  heir  was  not  so  attractive  to  him.  His  name 
was  next  eliminated. 

On  the  other  hand,  Viscount  Dillon  was  not  at  all  opposed 
to  his  regiment  going  to  France  under  the  command  of  his 
second  son,  Arthur,  who  was  a  keen  soldier.  Lord  Mount- 
cashell  also  set  himself  to  the  task  of  reforming  his  old 
regiment  which  had  suffered  so  heavily  at  Crum,  and  such 
was  his  popularity  that  in  a  few  weeks  he  raised  the  skeleton 
battalion  left  of  300  men  to  one  of  the  full  strength  of  1200 
men.  The  Feilding  regiment  made  but  slow  progress 
until  Lord  Mountcashell  came  to  his  brother-in-law's 
help,  and  then  it  reached  a  sufficient  number  to  pass  muster. 
Colonel  Robert  Feilding,  an  Englishman  who  had  been  a 
member  of  the  House  of  Commons  in  the  last  of  James's 
English  Parliaments,  had  married  Mary,  only  daughter  and 
heir  of  Ulick,  Marquis  of  Clanrickarde  and  widow  of 
Charles  McCarthy,  Viscount  Muskerry,  Lord  Mountcashell's 
elder  brother,  who  was  killed  in  battle  in  1665  as  already 

The  O'Brien  regiment  was  raised  the  quickest  of  all,  but 
when  a  rumour  got  about  that  Lord  Clare  did  not  intend  to 
give  the  command  to  his  son  the  regiment  declared  that 
they  would  not  leave  Ireland  unless  an  O'Brien  were  in 
command.  The  disaffected  were  soon  pacified,  when  they 
were  informed  that  Daniel  O'Brien,  their  chief's  son  and 
heir,  would  be  their  Colonel.  The  Butler  regiment  was 
raised  mainly  by  the  influence  of  Viscount  Galmoye,  and  the 

210          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

command  was  taken  by  his  kinsman  Colonel  Richard  Butler. 
By  March,  1690,  then,  the  five  regiments  of  Mountcashell, 
Richard  Butler,  Dillon,  O'Brien  or  Clare,  and  Feilding, 
with  an  average  strength  of  1 200  men  apiece  (excepting  the 
last  named, which  mustered  about  800),  were  ready  for  trans- 
shipment to  France.  With  regard  to  its  numerical  strength, 
the  return  of  the  French  officials  at  Brest  made  the  total 
force  in  the  brigade  5800  in  round  numbers. 

The  following  list  of  the  officers  in  each  regiment  at  the 
time  of  leaving  for  France  possesses  a  more  than  passing 
interest  : — 


Colonel-in-Chief,  Lord  Mountcashell 
Lt.-Colonel-in-Command,  Lt. -Colonel  Colgrave 
Major  Michael  Roth 
Major  Hogan 

Captains  Lieutenants  Ensigns 

McCarthy  O'Brien  Mulvany 

Dooley  Maccarty  Trueley 

Meagher  (adjutant)     Carroll  McCarthy 

G.  FitzGerald  FitzGerald  Roth 

Browne  Sullivan  Comyn 

Power  Hogan  Colgrave 

Condon  Sweeney  Keogh 

O'Brien  Maurice  Callaghan 

Chivers  Rayne 

Cusack  Lavallin 




Colonel-in-Chief,  Colonel  Richard  Butler 
Lt. -Colonel,  Lt. -Colonel  Butler 
Major  Butler. 

Captains  Lieutenants  Ensigns 

Fort  Kelly  Butler 

Archer  Carney  FitzGerald 

FitzHarris  St.  Leger  Raggett 

Doran  Sutton  Stafford 

Boulger  Rayne  Kerans 

Kelly  Roche  Boulger,  Jun. 





Surgeon  Kelly. 

Lieutenants  Ensigns 

Mandeville  Kelly 

Forde  Newport 

Cokeley  Walsh 

Butler  Jordan 

Priest,  Father  Murphy. 


Colonel-in-Chief,  Colonel  Arthur  Dillon 
Lt. -Colonel,  Lt. -Colonel  Henry  Crafton 
Major  Dalton 







Ro.  Dillon 









Chris.  Dillon 



Ro.  FitzGerald 



Lu.  Dillon 









Tho.  Dillon 












John  Dillon  ' 










Dignay.    Priest, 

Father  Dillon. 

The  mention  of  the  name  of  the  Lieutenant-Colonel  in 
the  French  records  as  Henry  Crafton  (the  Irish  lists  give  it 
as  Bourke)  is  particularly  interesting  for  a  different  reason. 
The  famous  and  unfortunate  Count  Lally  married  Felicite 
Crafton,  and  much  mystery  has  been  cast  upon  her  identity 
and  status  in  life.  There  seems  hardly  room  to  doubt  that 
she  was  the  daughter  of  this  Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the 
Dillon  regiment,  in  which  Thomas  Arthur  Lally  served 
for  thirty  years  before  Fontenoy. 

212          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 


Colon el-in-Chief,  Daniel  O'Brien,  afterwards  Visct.  Clare 
Lt.-Colonel  Arthur 
Major  Whelan 




























Raleigh  j 
Carroll  ! 







Priest,  Father  Kennedy. 

Similar  particulars  are  not  available  for  the  Feilding 
regiment,  but  in  numbers  it  was  the  weakest  of  all. 

The  condition  upon  which  these  five  regiments  were  sent 
to  France  was  that  they  were  to  enter  the  service  of  the 
King  of  France  and  to  be  entirely  at  his  disposition  to  serve 
where  he  should  direct,  and  against  all  his  enemies  "  except- 
ing it  were  the  King  of  England,"  should  the  case  arise. 
As  the  story  develops  it  will  be  seen  that  there  was  a 
marked  distinction  in  the  status  of  the  Mountcashell 
brigade  and  that  of  the  Irish  troops  who  followed  after  the 
Limerick  Convention.  The  former  became  French  troops 
at  once ;  the  latter  were  for  many  years  nominally  King 
James's  men  and  subject  to  his  orders  and  not  to  those 
of  the  King  of  France. 

The  schedule  of  pay  was  also  drawn  up  and  agreed  to  be- 
fore the  regiments  left  Ireland.  It  was  based  on  the  arrange- 
ment made  when  George  Hamilton  raised  his  regiment  in 
1671.  Each  private  was  to  receive  nine  livres  or  francs  per 
month,  and  the  non-commissioned  officers  got  an  increase  on 
this  sum.  A  captain  received  five  livres  a  day,  a  lieutenant 
forty-five  sols  (2  f .  25  c.),  and  an  ensign  thirty-six  sols 


(i  f.  80  c.).  The  pay  to  the  infantry  soldier  was  practically 
the  same  as  that  James  proposed  to  pay  him  in  Ireland,  but 
in  France  a  small  deduction  of  I  sol  in  the  livre  was  made 
from  the  private's  pay  for  the  personal  benefit  of  the 
Colonel  of  the  regiment.  Taking  the  strength  of  a  regiment 
at  1600  this  deduction  meant  the  equivalent  of  ^400 
sterling  per  annum  for  the  commanding  officer.  In 
addition  he  drew  a  regular  salary  of  2700  francs  a  year. 

Before  the  question  had  been  settled  that  those  who 
raised  the  regiments  should  nominate  their  colonels, 
D'Avaux  had  been  trying  to  get  the  best  men  in  the  Irish 
army  for  the  posts.  The  Hamiltons  being  ineligible  he  asked 
for  Lord  Galway,  son  of  the  Earl  of  Clanrickarde.  He  was 
also  not  unwilling  to  accept  the  Earl  of  Clancarty  as  another 
on  account  of  his  high  connections,  although  he  styled  him 
"  a  young  fool  and  a  little  roue."  And  then  he  asked  for  Sars- 
field,  adding  :  "  He  is  not  a  man  of  the  birth  of  Lord  Galway 
or  McCarthy,  but  he  is  a  gentleman  distinguished  by  his 
merit,  and  has  more  credit  in  the  country  than  any  one  else." 
D'Avaux's  appreciation  of  Sarsfield  had  led  him  to  obtain 
for  him  from  James  his  first  promotion  as  Brigadier-General, 
and  it  was  on  that  occasion  that  James  replied  with  some 
tetchiness :  "  Sarsfield  is  a  very  brave  man,  but  has  no  head." 

D'Avaux  also  asked  for  Lord  Dungan,  son  of  the  Earl  of 
Limerick,  of  whom  he  had  a  high  opinion,  not  only  for  his 
own  merit,  but  because  his  uncle  Walter  had  served  with 
some  distinction  in  the  French  army.  Finally,  he  wanted 
Dominic  Sarsfield,  Lord  Kilmallock,  to  be  one  of  the 
commanders.  Lord  Kilmallock  was  a  man  of  conspicu- 
ous merit,  whose  career  reads  like  a  romance.  He 
was  one  of  those  peers  of  Ireland  who  forfeited  their 
estates  for  their  religion  in  1651.  After  the  Restoration, 
on  finding  that  his  estates  were  not  to  be  given  back,  he 
enlisted  in  an  assumed  name  in  the  English  Guard  and 
served  in  it  during  the  reign  of  Charles  II,  reaching  the 
grade  of  sergeant  by  pure  merit.  It  was  only  on  James's 
flight  that  he  went  to  Ireland,  revealed  his  identity  to 

214          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Tyrconnell  and  raised  a  regiment,  which  he  soon  made  one  of 
the  most  efficient  in  the  army.  We  shall  meet  him  again, 
both  in  Limerick  and  France. 

When  James,  in  addition  to  his  regiments,  was  asked  to 
part  with  his  best  officers  he  got  quite  cross,  and  he  made 
at  least  one  rejoinder  to  the  effect  that  if  Irish  officers  were 
wanted,  "  plenty  could  be  found  in  the  King  of  France's 
German  regiments." 

Although  the  physical  qualities  of  the  men  composing  the 
regiments  were  as  good  as  they  could  be,  James  had  no  justifi- 
cation for  calling  the  Mountcashell  brigade  "  the  best 
regiments  in  his  service."  They  were  raised  for  the  greater 
part  in  haste,  expressly  for  the  purpose  of  being  sent  to 
France,  and  the  great  majority  of  the  men  had  never 
shouldered  a  musket  before  receiving  their  equipment  at 
Nantes  and  Bourges.  It  is  also  undoubted  that  owing  to  the 
hurry  and  to  the  need  of  making  up  a  paper  total,  a  con- 
siderable number  of  ineligibles  were  enrolled  and  many  of 
the  officers  had  no  claim  to  hold  a  commission.  The  French 
authorities  were  very  quick  in  detecting  these  shortcomings 
and  rejected  about  one-tenth  of  the  force,  who  were 
shipped  back  to  Ireland.  These  were  taken  principally 
from  the  Butler  and  Feilding  regiments,  but  the  bulk  of 
those  returned  to  Ireland  probably  came  back  to  France 
after  the  end  of  the  war. 

D'Avaux  was  somewhat  to  blame  in  this  matter.  In  his 
anxiety  to  show  what  a  valuable  recruiting-ground  Ireland 
might  become  for  the  French  army,  he  wished  to  get 
together  as  big  a  total  as  possible.  He  tried  hard  to  raise 
the  corps  to  7000  men,  but  he  only  succeeded  in  getting 
6000  men  or  thereabouts.  But  Louvois  had  not  been  so 
exacting.  He  asked  for  only  4000  Irish  troops  in  exchange 
for  Lauzun's  force,  but  he  added  that  they  were  to  be 
"  good  troops  under  good  officers."  Louvois  could  not  get 
exactly  what  he  wanted,  but  he  obtained  the  best  material 
out  of  which  good  troops  and  good  officers  could  be  made. 

The  immediate  consequence  of  sending  too  many  men 


and  regiments  of  unequal  strength  was  that  the  French 
military  authorities,  who  insisted  on  each  regiment  being 
composed  of  sixteen  companies  of  100  men  each,  decided 
to  reduce  the  five  regiments  to  three,  and  the  Butler  and 
Feilding  regiments  were  at  once  broken  up.  The  best  of 
them  were  incorporated  in  the  three  other  regiments,  the 
Mountcashell,  the  O'Brien  or  Clare,  and  the  Dillon.  This 
left  a  surplus  of  six  or  seven  hundred  men,  who  were 
incontinently  shipped  back  to  Ireland.  The  French 
authorities  had  to  seize  upon  any  excuse  they  found  handy 
for  this  rejection.  The  Butler  regiment  was  accused  of 
having  brought  over  forty  sergeants  as  valets ;  they  were 
sent  back.  Another  contingent  of  the  Butler  regiment  on 
board  a  ship  separated  from  the  main  squadron  by  rough 
weather  was  driven  into  La  Rochelle.  The  local  officers 
refused  to  allow  them  to  land  until  they  had  communicated 
with  Paris  and  received  formal  authority  from  the  capital 
to  do  so.  When  this  detachment  reached  Nantes,  several 
weeks  after  the  rest  of  the  corps,  they  were  told  that  the 
cadres  were  full  and  that  there  was  no  place  for  them. 
They,  too,  were  sent  back  to  Ireland. 

In  this  manner  the  redundants  were  got  rid  of,  and  soon 
there  were  only  the  three  regiments  of  1600  men  apiece 
and  about  100  officers  to  each  regiment.  There  is  some 
reason  to  think  that  a  certain  number  of  those  rejected 
were  taken  into  the  French  navy.  Immediately  after  his 
arrival  Lord  Mountcashell  was  summoned  to  Versailles, 
where  Louis  gave  him  a  very  good  reception,  making  him  a 
present  of  4000  ecus  for  his  equipage,  and  granting  him  an 
annual  pension  of  the  same  sum,  which  was  to  be  in  addition 
to  his  revenue  as  Colonel  of  his  regiment.  Certainly  Lord 
Mountcashell  was  no  loser  by  changing  the  scene  of  his 
service  from  Ireland  to  France. 

Louis,  no  doubt,  had  not  forgotten  the  name  or  the  facts 
that  there  had  figured  in  the  French  Army  List  a  regiment 
called  Muskerry  from  1647-62,  and  another  called  Dillon 
from  1653-64. 


The  first  Irish  corps  having  been  landed,  sifted,  and 
brigaded,  it  is  interesting  to  read  what  the  French  inten- 
dants  sent  down  to  clothe  the  force  thought  of  the  new 
acquisition.  Their  reports  are  in  the  War  Department,  and 
they  are  full  of  detail.  With  scarcely  a  varying  note  the 
description  given  is  unfavourable  and  depressing.  M. 
Bouridal,  for  instance,  describes  them  as  "  shirtless,  shoeless, 
hatless,  and  afflicted  with  vermin."  Lest  this  might  be 
thought  a  reflection  on  the  Irish  of  the  day,  I  may  mention 
that  I  was  relieved  to  read  in  a  subsequent  volume  exactly 
the  same  account  about  the  French  troops  who  returned 
with  Lauzun.  Something  must  be  set  down  to  the 
miserable  poverty  of  Ireland — for  instance,  there  was  no 
straw  in  Cork  for  the  French  soldiers  to  sleep  on — but  on 
the  whole  the  main  cause  of  the  insanitary  condition  of  the 
troops  was  the  medical  ignorance  and  neglect  of  hygiene 
in  that  age. 

But  it  may  be  accepted  as  a  fact  beyond  dispute  that  the 
Irish  troops  under  Lord  Mountcashell  arrived  in  France 
clothed  in  rags.  It  was,  of  course,  never  intended  that  they 
should  bring  their  arms  with  them,  but  certainly  the 
French  commissariat  officials  were  rather  taken  aback  at 
their  appearance.  However,  bootmakers  were  set  to  work 
to  supply  them  with  shoes,  shirts  were  distributed,  a  felt 
hat  was  provided  with  one  side  turned  up  to  the  crown  (to 
which  the  white  cockade  of  the  French  army  was  attached), 
and  lastly  a  grey  coat  or  tunic  was  given  out  as  the  special 
dress  of  the  Mountcashell  brigade.  There  happened  to  be 
a  large  accumulation  of  this  grey  cloth  in  the  French 
warehouses,  for  in  the  winter  of  the  same  year  a  quantity 
sufficient  for  20,000  uniforms  was  sent  to  Ireland.  But 
there  is  one  point  that  lends  a  piquant  interest  to  the  busi- 
ness of  clothing  the  Mountcashell  brigade.  The  Irish 
troops  clamoured  for  red  coats,  and  Lord  Mountcashell 
received  an  assurance  that  when  new  uniforms  had  to  be 
provided  they  should  be  in  red.  It  is  curious  to  find  these 
poor  Irish  exiles,  who  had  gone  forth  from  their  own  land 


because  they  had  been  persuaded  that  England  was  their 
natural  enemy,  protesting  that  they  would  wear  the  English 
national  uniform  and  no  other.  Their  flag  also  was  the 
English  flag.  It  was  St.  George's  Cross,  with  a  lion  in  gold, 
and  above  it  a  golden  crown  in  the  centre.  No  one  thought 
of  the  Green  Flag  or  the  Harp  in  those  days ! 

Having  clothed  and  armed  the  new  arrivals  at  Nantes, 
peremptory  orders  were  received  to  march  them  to  the 
front,  and  the  French  orders  state  quite  candidly,  "  where 
they  are  urgently  needed."  It  is  clear  from  this  order  that 
the  condition  of  the  Irish  troops  could  not  have  been  so 
very  bad,  and  that  when  their  most  glaring  shortcomings 
had  been  removed  by  the  supply  of  a  proper  equipment 
the  Irish  levies  appeared  in  the  eyes  of  French  critics  to  be 
soldiers  and  not  useless  recruits.  And  so  in  June,  1690, 
the  three  Irish  regiments  were  marching  bravely  and  singing 
songs  to  the  surprise  of  the  French  peasantry  across  Berry 
and  Dauphine  to  the  frontier  of  Savoy.  The  original 
intention  had  been  to  employ  them  in  Catalonia  under 
Marshal  Noailles,  but  the  army  under  Marshal  Catinat  on 
the  Italian  frontier  was  short  in  numbers  and  opposed  by 
far  superior  forces  which  had  been  recently  increased  by 
Imperial  troops  brought  from  Hungary.  Catinat,  the  most 
cautious  and  perhaps  the  ablest  of  all  Louis's  later  com- 
manders, was  clamouring  for  reinforcements.  They  were 
sent  him  in  the  Irish  contingent  of  5000  men  under  Lord 

But  the  French  authorities  were  not  disposed  to  leave 
the  sole  control  of  the  new  force  to  the  officers  who  had 
come  with  it  from  Ireland,  and  therefore  Andrew  Lee,  an 
officer  who  had  served  with  much  distinction  for  twenty 
years  under  the  French  flag,  and  who  was  at  the  time  a 
Lieutenant-Colonel  in  the  Greder  regiment,  was  appointed 
Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the  Clare  regiment  and  sent  posthaste 
to  join  it  at  Vienne.  Andrew  Lee,  better  known  in  France 
as  Andre,  Marquis  de  Lee,  was  of  Irish  origin,  and  had 
joined  Sir  George  Hamilton's  regiment  as  an  ensign. 


When  that  corps  was  disbanded  he  remained  in  France, 
receiving  a  lieutenant's  commission  in  the  Furstenberg 
regiment.  As  we  shall  see,  he  was  specially  trusted  by  the 
French  authorities,  and  was  used  by  them  as  a  confidential 
intermediary  with  the  Irish  officers  who  were  strangers  in 
France.  His  first  employment  with  them  was,  however,  in 
the  definite  capacity  of  second  in  command  of  the  Clare 
regiment  during  the  campaign  of  1690  in  Upper  Savoy. 

At  this  juncture  Louis  had  four  considerable  armies  in 
the  field,  one  in  Flanders  under  Marshal  Luxemburg, 
another  on  the  Rhine  under  Villeroi,  a  third  in  Catalonia 
under  Noailles,  and  a  fourth  in  Savoy  and  Piedmont  under 
Catinat.  We  are  only  concerned  with  the  last  named. 
Catinat's  principal  opponent  here  was  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
(who  played  several  roles  during  these  long  wars),  and  he 
had  been  lately  joined  by  his  young  kinsman  Prince  Eugene, 
who  had  so  distinguished  himself  against  the  Turks  that  the 
Imperial  Commander,  the  Duke  of  Lorraine,  had  pre- 
dicted "  the  young  Savoyard  will  one  day  be  the  greatest 
commander  of  the  century."  Savoy  itself  was  held  by  the 
Barbets,  the  Vaudois  Protestants,  who  were  mountaineers 
and  accustomed  to  warfare  in  this  inaccessible  and  pre- 
cipitous region. 

The  task  before  Catinat  was  one  of  extreme  difficulty. 
He  had  himself  advanced  into  the  valley  of  the  Po,  leaving 
his  lieutenant,  de  Larray,  to  deal  with  the  Barbets 
in  Upper  Savoy  and  to  keep  open  his  communications. 
But  when  Catinat  got  into  Piedmont  he  found  in  front 
of  him  the  superior  and  continually  increasing  army  of 
Savoy  and  the  Empire.  What  was  he  to  do  f  He  could  only 
summon  Larray  to  his  aid,  but  Larray  could  not  move 
until  some  new  force  had  arrived  to  take  his  place  and 
prevent  the  Barbets  filling  up  the  gap  and  closing  in  on  the 
rear  of  Catinat's  main  army.  A  French  army  was  in  deadly 
peril  beyond  the  Alps,  and  that  was  why  the  Irish  soldiers 
were  marching  in  hot  haste  across  the  sun-baked  plains  of 
central  France  to  Lyons  and  thence  to  Grenoble. 


They  reached  their  destination  towards  the  end  of  July. 
Larray,  resigning  the  command  in  Savoy  to  St.  Ruth, 
marched  forward  to  the  aid  of  Catinat,  bringing  him  a 
reinforcement  of  6000  troops.  St.  Ruth  with  the  5000 
Irish  and  a  few  French  troops  was  left  to  hold  the  province 
of  Savoy  and  to  keep  the  Vaudois  Barbets  in  check.  There 
is  no  necessity  to  describe  here  the  battle  of  Staffarde, 
fought  on  August  18,  1690,  when  Catinat  gained  a  decisive 
victory  over  his  enemy,  who,  notwithstanding  the  rein- 
forcement of  Larray,  was  superior  to  him  in  numbers. 

Under  the  date  of  September  21,  1690,  Dangeau  notes  : 
"  St.  Ruth  reports  that  in  the  late  battle  in  Savoy  the  Irish 
troops  had  done  wonders  (fait  des  merveilles)"  and  this 
report  was  confirmed  by  Sourches  and  others.  On  the 
occasion  referred  to  Lord  Mountcashell  was  dangerously 
wounded  by  a  musket  shot  in  the  breast. 

Whereas  Larry  had  stood  on  the  defensive  in  Upper 
Savoy,  confining  his  attention  to  keeping  the  road  open 
over  the  Mont  Cenis  from  Grenoble  to  Susa,  St.  Ruth,  as 
soon  as  the  victory  of  Staffarde  ensured  the  safety  of  the 
main  army  under  Catinat,  resorted  to  the  offensive.  During 
the  months  of  September  and  October,  1690,  the  Irish 
troops  were  employed  under  his  orders  in  driving  the 
Barbets  northwards  into  Switzerland.  The  operations 
began  with  the  attack  on  and  capture  of  Chambery,  the 
Duke's  capital.  It  was  in  the  capture  of  this  place  that 
Mountcashell  was  severely  wounded.  Rumilly  and  Annecy 
were  the  next  places  to  fall,  and  then  St.  Ruth  turned  into 
the  Tarentaise,  the  southern  division  of  Savoy  of  which  the 
capital  is  Moustiers.  In  this  district  some  of  the  most 
desperate  fighting  took  place.  The  castles  of  the  Marquis 
de  Sales  and  other  Savoy  nobles,  crowning  peaks  that 
seemed  inaccessible,  were  carried  by  escalade  one  after 
another,  and  it  was  only  the  advent  of  winter  that  put  an 
end  to  the  operations.  As  the  only  troops  employed  were 
the  Irish  there  was  no  possibility  of  detracting  from  their 
merit.  The  subjection  of  Savoy  was  the  proof. 

220          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

The  records  of  the  French  War  Department  are  defective 
in  some  particulars,  owing  to  many  documents  having  been 
destroyed  during  the  Commune,  and  therefore  it  is  impossible 
to  fix  the  number  of  Irishmen  who  gave  their  lives  for  their 
new  country  in  Savoy  in  1690.  But  as  St.  Ruth  was 
instructed,  on  departing  for  Ireland  in  1691,  to  send  back  at 
once  500  picked  Irishmen  to  raise  the  Mountcashell 
brigade  to  its  proper  strength,  it  seems  safe  to  conclude 
that  its  loss  in  August,  September,  and  October  amounted 
to  that  total.  The  fleet  which  carried  St.  Ruth  to  Limerick 
brought  back  that  number  to  Brest,  but  owing  to  the 
difficulty  of  getting  out  of  the  Shannon  it  only  arrived  in 
France  about  the  same  time  as  the  battle  of  Aughrim  was 
fought.  There  is  reason  to  think  that  a  large  number  of  the 
men  originally  rejected  from  the  Butler  and  Feilding 
regiments  were  among  those  who  returned. 

The  French  authorities  were  also  somewhat  dissatisfied 
with  the  majority  of  the  Irish  officers  of  regimental  rank, 
and  with  the  view  of  attracting  a  better  class  the  younger 
sons  of  good  families  were  invited  to  join  the  Mountcashell 
Brigade  as  cadets.  I  have  before  me  a  list  of  sixteen  young 
gentlemen  who  sailed  from  Limerick  in  July,  1691,  for  the 
purpose.  Among  them  was  Morgan  Kavanagh,  aged 
fourteen,  son  of  Colonel  Charles  Kavanagh,  who  was  blown 
up  in  the  "  Breda,"  ship  of  war,  at  Cork.  He  and  his  cousin 
Maurice  Eustace  reached  Rochefort  on  July  20,  1691. 
Having  discovered  the  value  of  Irish  soldiers  Louis's 
Government  became  very  anxious  to  improve  the  quality  of 
the  officers,  who  never  having  had  any  professional  training, 
were,  for  the  most  part,  not  up  to  the  standard  of  what 
the  French  considered  an  officer  should  be,  and  the 
institution  of  the  cadet  system  was  one  of  the  first  measures 
to  that  end. 

The  campaign  of  1690  having  relieved  the  pressure  on  the 
side  of  Savoy  and  Piedmont,  Mountcashell's  brigade  was 
ordered  to  Roussillon  to  reinforce  the  army  of  Marshal 
Noailles,  which  was  expected  to  drive  the  Spaniards  south 


of  the  Pyrenees  in  1691.  The  reputation  gained  by  the 
Irish  troops  under  Catinat  and  his  lieutenants  in  1690  was 
confirmed  and  strengthened  under  Noailles.  Marshal 
Noailles  and  his  son,  also  Marshal,  had  for  half  a  century 
Irish  troops  under  their  command  from  Roussillon  to 
Dettingen,  and  none  of  the  other  French  generals  ever 
spoke  so  ungrudgingly  and  warmly  in  their  praise. 

At  the  siege  of  Argelles,  at  the  capture  by  assault  of 
Valence  and  Roy,  Mountcashell  and  his  men  confirmed  the 
good  impression  they  had  made  at  Chambery  and  Annecy 
the  year  before.  The  commander-in-chief  reported  two 
things  about  them  that  deserve  mention :  "  They  were 
always  in  good  spirits,"  and  "  they  were  always  first  in  the 

It  is  unnecessary  to  dilate  or  dwell  upon  the  achievements 
of  the  Mountcashell  Brigade,  which  was  the  forerunner  of 
the  larger  and  more  famous  Irish  Brigade  with  which  it 
was  eventually  amalgamated.  There  are  only  two  points 
on  which  we  need  lay  any  stress.  The  first  is  that  this  corps 
had  the  first  opportunity  of  showing  what  Irish  troops  with 
good  weapons  and  under  proper  leading  could  accomplish. 
The  second  was  that  its  achievements  satisfied  Louis  and 
the  most  sceptical  of  his  ministers  that  the  Irish  would 
justify  their  existence  as  the  auxiliaries  of  France.  Before, 
then,  a  single  man  of  the  Irish  Brigade  brought  into  France 
as  the  sequel  of  the  Limerick  Convention  had  reached  that 
country,  there  were  positive  facts  to  show  that  Irish  troops 
were  as  good  as  any  in  the  world. 

It  is  necessary  to  establish  this  point,  because  by  some 
curious  optical  defect  the  English  people  had  not  seen  things 
as  they  were.  In  their  opinion,  the  Irish  had  been  for  a  hun- 
dred and  fifty  years  before  the  Boyne  "  cowards,"  "  savages," 
and  a  race  to  be  treated  with  contempt.  They  only  discovered 
the  truth  when  they  came  to  be  pitted  against  them  under  a 
hostile  flag.  A  wiser  policy  in  England,  a  less  insular  point 
of  view,  would  have  obviated  the  painful  necessity  alto- 
gether ;  but  things  being  as  they  were  it  was  inevitable  if 


222          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

future  concord  and  mutual  respect  should  be  attained — it 
was  desirable  even  if  the  Irish  national  character  should  be 
established  without  the  intervention  of  English  criticism 
or  co-operation — that  these  Irish  representatives  should  go 
out  into  the  wide  world  and  display  their  courage  and 
assert  their  martial  reputation  once  and  for  all  time  by 
military  achievements  which  have  never  been  surpassed. 
To  Lord  Mountcashell  belongs  the  credit  of  having  placed 
the  experimental  employment  of  Irish  soldiers  by  France 
on  a  successful  and  mutually  satisfactory  basis. 

Chapter  IX 


IF  the  Irish  troops  had  not  done  wonders  (" fait  des 
merveilles  ")  under  French  generals  in  Savoy,  it  is 
very  dubious  if  Louis  would  have  sent  another  man  or 
another  franc  to  Ireland  after  the  return  of  his  own 
troops.  In  the  first  period  of  revulsion  after  the  Boyne, 
French  opinion  had  taken  a  very  unfavourable  view  of  the 
Irish  nation,  and  Madame  de  Sevigne,  whose  Jacobite 
enthusiasm  soon  waned,  gave  expression  to  it  in  a  sentence, 
declaring  that  "  the  Irish  were  poor  creatures  and  traitors." 
But  a  little  further  experience  sufficed  to  expose  the 
injustice  of  this  view  and  to  bring  out  the  truth,  which 
was  that  Irishmen  could  not  command  victory  when  the 
conditions  were  impossible  any  more  than  Englishmen  or 
Frenchmen  could ;  and  there  can  never  be  any  doubt  that 
the  conditions  under  which  the  Irish  fought  at  the  Boyne 
were  as  nearly  hopeless  as  they  well  could  be. 

When  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell  arrived,  then,  in  France, 
he  found  Louis  prepared  to  risk  a  little  more,  if  not  very 
much,  in  the  Irish  venture.  No  French  Minister  would 
sanction  the  despatch  of  any  more  French  troops,  and  the 
relief  at  having  recovered  so  many  of  those  sent  did  not 
admit  of  any  fresh  strain.  But  apart  from  an  army,  France 
could  still  do  a  good  deal  to  assist  the  Irish,  and  Tyrconnell 
asked  in  the  first  place  only  for  stores,  arms,  and  money. 
He  also  asked  for  the  services  of  a  good  general,  and  of  some 
staff  officers  to  aid  him.  Of  Irish  regimental  officers  and  of 
men  he  represented  that  there  were  more  than  enough, 
although  he  does  not  seem  to  have  made  his  calculations 


224          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

with  sufficient  care,  for  the  Irish  forces  had  been  reduced 
by  the  defection  of  that  curious  adventurer,  Baldearg 
O'Donnell,  who  had  taken  off  to  the  wilds  of  Sligo  7000  of 
the  Rapparees  or  irregulars,  and  there  held  a  bedraggled 
Court  of  his  own  as  if  he  and  not  James  were  the  Irish  King. 
His  chief  grievance  seems  to  have  been  that  the  Duke  of 
Tyrconnell  had  been  given  the  title  which  appertained  to 
his  family.  It  is  not  surprising  to  find  in  Berwick's  Memoirs 
expressions  of  surprise  and  disgust  at  the  endless  quarrels 
and  divisions  of  Irish  parties.  Nor  had  proper  allowance 
been  made  for  the  4000  men  captured  at  Cork.  Tyrconnell 
had  not  taken  these  matters  into  adequate  account  when  he 
declared  that  there  was  a  sufficiency  of  fighting-men  in 

But  perhaps  it  was  discreet  not  to  ask  the  French  King 
for  what  he  was  indisposed  to  grant,  and  an  arrangement 
was  come  to  for  very  generous  supplies  to  be  sent  early  in 
the  new  year.  Tyrconnell  was  sent  back  to  reanimate  the 
Jacobite  cause  by  bearing  himself  the  news  that  French 
succours  were  to  follow  after  him. 

If  the  condition  of  the  Irish  troops  had  been  bad  when 
Tyrconnell  sailed  from  Ireland  it  was  naturally  much  worse 
when  he  got  back  three  months  later.  The  officers  were  in 
rags,  the  soldiers  "  miserably  naked,"  and  the  sum  of  money 
he  brought  with  him  was  soon  dispensed  in  doles  to  relieve 
so  much  misery.  At  the  same  time  all  the  base  money  was 
called  in,  and  commissioners  were  appointed  to  take  a  list  of 
the  amounts  and  the  holders,  so  that  they  should  be  indem- 
nified whenever  the  King  came  by  his  own  again.  To  men 
in  such  need  the  French  aid  seemed  long  in  coming,  and 
when  it  came  inadequate  ;  although  it  was  not  ungenerous 
of  its  kind,  and  there  seems  no  justification  for  the  com- 
plaints, which  occupy  so  large  a  space  of  James's  Memoirs, 
at  the  hostility  of  Louvois  to  his  cause.  Louvois  had  to 
look  after  French,  not  Jacobite,  interests,  and  he  was  a 
hard  bargainer.  When  he  fitted  out  the  expedition  of 
March,  1691,  he  stipulated  that  Tyrconnell  should  return 

THE    CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          225 

500  Irish  recruits  to  raise  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  to  its 
full  war  strength. 

The  general  selected  to  take  the  command  of  the  Irish 
army  was  Charles  Chalmot,  Marquis  de  St.  Rhue  (commonly 
but  erroneously  called  in  English  literature  St.  Ruth).  To 
a  certain  extent  he  seems  to  have  put  himself  forward  to 
secure  the  command,  for  he  had  extolled  the  valour  of  the 
Irish  troops  under  him  in  Savoy,  and  as  he  was  extremely 
popular  with  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  it  was  assumed 
that  he  must  be  just  the  man  to  get  on  with  the  troops  in 
Ireland.  He  was  essentially  a  fighting  general,  but  he  had 
served  with  the  cautious  Catinat,  and  had  acquired  some  of 
that  great  commander's  skill  as  a  tactician.  Berwick  says 
that  he  "  was  by  nature  very  vain,"  but  even  if  the  remark 
be  not  merely  ill-natured,  as  many  of  Berwick's  were, 
vanity  was  no  reflection  on  his  military  skill. 

In  St.  Ruth,  as  we  suppose  we  must  call  him,  France  sent 
one  of  the  best  officers  at  her  disposal.  He  was  immeasur- 
ably superior  as  a  soldier  to  either  Roze  or  Lauzun.  He 
was  accompanied  by  the  Marquis  d'Usson  and  the  Cheva- 
lier de  Tesse  as  Lieutenant-Generals,  both  of  whom  had 
seen  much  service  in  the  French  wars.  Colonel  La  Tour 
was  selected  to  fill  the  post  of  Governor  of  Limerick,  but 
the  only  French  officers  beyond  these  who  sailed  for 
Ireland  in  1691  were  the  few  artillerists  who  had  accom- 
panied Tyrconnell  some  weeks  earlier.  But  some  civilians 
were  sent  to  look  after  the  money  and  the  stores  (among 
these  was  material  for  20,000  tunics  in  grey  or  mouse- 
coloured  cloth)  sent  from  France,  and  these  officials  wrote 
some  very  interesting  and  informing  reports  on  the  state 
of  Ireland,  which  have  yet  to  be  published.  Adverse  gales 
delayed  St.  Ruth's  departure,  and  it  was  not  until  the  com- 
mencement of  May  that  the  Chevalier  de  Nesmond,  com- 
manding the  escorting  squadron  of  thirty-two  large  ships, 
conceived  it  would  be  safe  to  make  a  start.  More  care  had 
to  be  taken  in  these  matters  than  previously,  as  it  was  no 
longer  merely  the  straight  course  to  the  south  of  Ireland 

226          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

that  had  to  be  accomplished,  but  the  dangerous  Kerry 
coast  had  to  be  rounded  in  order  to  reach  the  Shannon. 
At  last  the  winds  seemed  propitious,  after  the  squadron  had 
first  been  driven  from  Brest  to  Belle-Isle,  and  about  the 
20th  of  the  month  St.  Ruth  made  his  formal  entry  into 
Limerick.  The  difficulty  of  communication  may  be 
gathered  from  the  fact  that  although  Nesmond's  orders 
were  to  return  without  delay,  he  was  unable  to  get  out  of 
the  Shannon  until  the  middle  of  July — in  fact,  only  a  few 
days  before  Aughrim. 

St.  Ruth  brought  with  him  a  good  supply  of  arms, 
clothes  for  several  regiments,  a  large  quantity  of  powder 
and  ball,  and  a  considerable  amount  of  oats,  meal,  and 
biscuit,  as  well  as  of  wine  and  brandy,  in  all  of  which  there 
had  been  a  great  deficiency  if  not  absolute  dearth  in 
Ireland.  Thus  for  a  brief  space  there  was  plenty  in  the 
land,  and  the  long-starving  troops  were  put  into  good 
heart  for  the  fierce  ordeal  that  lay  before  them.  When  St. 
Ruth  reviewed  the  troops  with  which  he  was  to  carry  on 
the  war  he  was  very  pleased  with  the  appearance  of  the 
infantry,  which  he  found  nearly  20,000  strong,  and  with 
the  exception  of  a  few  regiments  lately  raised  to  replace 
those  captured  at  Cork,  they  consisted  of  seasoned  troops. 
The  cavalry  was  numerically  weak,  although  excellent  in 
its  way,  but  there  were  no  means  of  raising  more  horse 
regiments,  and  the  gaps  made  at  the  Boyne  had  never  been 
refilled.  It  was  an  army  well  suited  for  the  defence  of  the 
river  line  formed  by  the  Shannon,  bridged  only  at  Athlone, 
Banagher,  and  Limerick  itself.  But  in  order  to  make  it  as 
efficient  as  possible  the  less  trained  regiments  were  put  to 
garrison  Limerick  and  Galway. 

In  June  D'Usson  reviewed  fifteen  battalions  at  Killaloe, 
and  reported  the  men  as  good,  their  discipline  imperfect, 
and  their  arms  showing  a  deficiency  of  at  least  100  per 
battalion.  The  Intendant  Fumeron  fixes  the  total  strength 
of  the  Irish  army  at  25,000  infantry,  3000  cavalry,  and 
2500  dragoons.  The  greatest  defect  in  the  force  was  that 

THE    CAMPAIGN    OF   AUGHRIM          227 

there  were  no  horses  to  draw  the  artillery,  and  it  was  added 
that  these  had  been  allowed  to  perish  by  neglect  during  the 
previous  winter.  The  French  reports,  as  a  rule,  bring  in  a 
statement  to  the  effect  that  "  the  misery  of  the  people  is 
beyond  belief." 

In  the  meantime  Ginkel  had  been  largely  reinforced  from 
England,  and  recruits  were  sent  across  the  Channel  in 
hundreds  and  thousands  with  the  view  of  being  trained  on 
the  spot. 

In  several  of  his  letters,  written  in  French  and  preserved 
at  the  Record  Office,  he  complains  that  they  required 
a  great  deal  of  training,  and  that  he  feared  the  enemy 
would  be  ready  to  take  the  field  sooner  than  himself. 
Although  Ginkel's  infantry  was  not  quite  as  numerous 
as  the  Irish  his  cavalry  force  was  four  times  as  strong,  and 
he  also  possessed  a  numerous  and  powerful  artillery  both 
for  the  field  and  for  attacking  walled  places.  Thanks  to 
St.  Ruth's  delayed  arrival  Ginkel  was  able  to  take  the  field 
first,  and  he  then  marched  straight  for  Athlone,  capturing 
on  the  way  the  castle  of  Ballymore  and  its  garrison  of 
500  men.  Plunkett  writes  : — 

"  By  the  beginning  of  June  the  English  army  was  assembled 
at  Mullingar,  and  on  the  6th  of  the  same  month  they  began  their 
march  towards  Athlone,  with  intention  to  take  that  great  pass 
into  Connaught.  On  the  yth  they  came  to  the  village  of  Bally- 
more,  about  half-way  between  Mullingar  and  Athlone.  There 
is  a  fort  close  by  it  at  the  side  of  a  lough,  which  was  a  little  fortified 
by  the  Irish  the  last  winter.  Lieut.-Colonel  Miles  Bourke  was 
now  Governor  thereof,  in  which  there  were  about  500  soldiers. 
Ginkel,  resolving  not  to  leave  this  untaken,  sent  a  summons  that 
same  day  to  the  Governor,  who  refused  to  comply  on  good  terms ; 
at  which  the  general  ordered  a  few  pieces  to  batter  the  fort,  which 
was  brought  down  to  the  ground,  so  that  the  next  day,  the  8th  of 
June,  the  garrison  was  forced  to  surrender  at  discretion.  They  were 
sent  prisoners  to  Dublin,  and  thence  all  the  private  men  were 
transported  to  the  island  of  Lambay.  There  were  found  in  this 
little  hold  only  two  diminutive  pieces  of  cannon." 

Fumeron  is  less  complimentary  to  the  defenders  of 
Ballymore.  He  states  that  "  no  resistance  was  offered, 

228          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

although  there  were  800  fusiliers  and  one  month's  supplies 
in  the  place."  Considering  Ginkel's  overwhelming  force 
it  would  be  more  just  to  regard  this  affair  as  another 
instance  of  the  Irish  frittering  away  their  chances.  The 
500  men  placed  in  Ballymore  could  only  have  been  put 
there  for  the  purpose  of  being  lost. 

At  this  supreme  moment  when  everything  called  for 
union  in  the  Irish  camp  the  cabal  broke  out  again  against 
Tyrconnell.  St.  Ruth  had  pitched  his  camp  about  two 
miles  south  of  Athlone,  in  which  he  placed  an  excellent 
garrison  commanded  by  Colonel  Nicholas  Fitzgerald,  and 
General  d'Usson  was  also  appointed  to  direct  the  defence 
with  his  superior  knowledge.  The  Duke  of  Tyrconnell, 
anxious  to  take  part  in  the  fray  that  was  approaching, 
accompanied  the  army,  and  pitched  his  camp  with  it.  He 
was  not  a  military  genius,  as  his  critics  constantly  remind 
us,  but  he  was  a  brave  man,  and  no  skulker  despite  his  age 
and  his  weight.  He  also  had  his  views,  and  sometimes,  at 
least,  they  were  reasonable  and  judicious.  Such  was  the 
case  with  regard  to  Athlone.  The  previous  year  when 
Athlone  had  been  successfully  defended  by  Colonel 
Richard  Grace,  a  strong  entrenchment  had  been  erected 
on  the  southern  side  of  the  town,  that  is  to  say,  on  the 
side  now  facing  St.  Ruth's  camp.  The  Duke  proposed  that 
this  should  be  levelled  as  contributing  in  no  way  to  the 
defence,  and  as  only  serving  as  an  obstacle  to  the  sending 
of  reinforcements  into  the  place.  His  advice  was  rejected 
and  gave  his  opponents  the  chance  of  declaring  that  he 
was  interfering  in  military  matters  of  which  he  knew 

Having  gained  this  first  success  his  detractors  decided 
to  humiliate  him  still  further,  and  some  of  the  Irish  Colonels 
sent  him  a  formal  notice  that  unless  he  quitted  the  camp 
they  would  cut  the  cords  of  his  tents.  As  the  Duke  had  the 
sympathies  of  the  larger  half  of  the  army  he  undoubtedly 
exercised  great  self-restraint  in  complying,  but  he  said  that 
he  would  do  nothing  to  divide  the  army  on  the  eve  of  what 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          229 

promised  to  be  the  decisive  battle  of  the  long  war.  He 
mounted  his  horse  and,  accompanied  by  his  personal 
retinue,  rode  back  to  Limerick  ;  but  if  his  advice  had  been 
taken  with  regard  to  the  removal  of  the  obstructing 
entrenchment  Athlone  need  not  have  fallen,  or  rather  it 
could  have  been  easily  recovered  on  June  30  (O.S.).  In 
these  matters  St.  Ruth,  as  he  had  no  local  knowledge  and 
could  not  speak  English,  had  largely  to  depend  on  the 
guidance  of  his  Irish  subordinates.  While  Henry  Luttrell 
and  Purcell  were  bitterly  opposed  to  Tyrconnell  (no  doubt 
they  guessed  that  like  Berwick  he  had  advised  James  to  have 
them  treated  as  Mountjoy  was),  other  Irish  commanders 
resented  his  old  favouritism  for  the  Hamiltons.  But 
perhaps  the  greatest  cause  of  confusion  which  led  to 
clashing  and  divided  counsels  was  St.  Ruth's  ignorance  of 
English,  and  the  little  knowledge  most  of  the  Irish  officers 
had  of  French. 

Such  was  the  prelude  to  the  attack  on  Athlone,  which 
may  be  told  in  Plunkett's  words  : — 

"  The  English  army  marched  to  Athlone,  which  was 
invested  on  June  19  on  the  Leinster  side.  This  part  of 
the  town  was  for  the  most  part  burned  the  last  year  by  the 
Irish  :  yet  at  the  present  they  had  in  it  three  or  four 
companies  of  foot.  On  the  20th  General  Ginkel  battered 
it  for  his  first  attempt.  In  the  afternoon  he  made  an 
attack  and  gained  it ;  a  few  men  were  killed  on  both  sides. 

"  This  part  of  the  town  being  theirs,  they  raised  batteries 
the  next  day  against  the  other  part  that  is  on  Connaught 
side.  It  is  destitute  of  walls  and  only  defended  by  a  castle 
and  the  river,  over  which  there  runs  a  stone  bridge  into  the 
town,  the  governor  whereof  was  Colonel  Nicholas  FitzGerald, 
with  a  garrison  of  fifteen  hundred  men,  choice  grenadiers 
and  foot.  Lieutenant-General  D'Usson  put  himself  into 
it  also.  On  the  22nd  the  whole  side  of  the  castle  was 
beaten  down  so  that  it  became  unserviceable  to  the  besieged. 
In  a  day  or  two  after,  what  small  works  were  about  the 
castle  became  so  far  demolished  that  there  remained  no 

23o          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

cover  to  the  defendants  except  a  little  behind  the  said 

"  This  work  being  over,  the  next  attempt  of  the  besiegers 
was  how  to  get  possession  of  the  bridge  in  order  to  attack 
the  town  therefrom.  The  dispute  was  exceedingly  fiery, 
but  the  English  gained  all  the  arches  but  the  last,  which  had 
been  broken  by  the  Irish.  However,  they  carried  on  their 
endeavours  so  far  the  next  day  that  they  laid  beams  thereon 
and  planked  part  of  the  beams ;  yet  the  same  day  a  detach- 
ment of  the  Irish  with  a  surpassing  audacity  threw  down 
beams  and  planks,  notwithstanding  the  most  terrible  fire  of 
the  enemy.  The  next  day  the  besiegers  renewed  the  attempt 
by  the  help  of  fascines ;  but  it  proved  in  vain,  for  the  be- 
sieged burned  them  all.  .  .  . 

"  In  this  perplexity  Major-General  Talmash  principally, 
and  seconded  by  the  Duke  of  Wirtemberg  and  others, 
advised  attempting  to  get  into  the  town  through  the  river 
by  a  sort  of  ford  near  the  bridge.  This  resolution  was  no 
sooner  taken  than  a  deserter  traversed  the  river  above  the 
town  and  came  to  the  Irish  camp,  letting  the  generals  know 
that  the  enemy  would  attack  the  town  through  the  ford 
the  next  day.  No  notice  was  taken  of  this  warning,  it  being 
judged  a  thing  impracticable.  On  this  very  day  the  Irish 
garrison,  which  had  behaved  themselves  to  admiration  during 
the  five  previous  days  and  while  the  fury  of  the  siege  lasted, 
was  relieved,-  and  in  their  place  three  regiments  of  foot  were 
sent,  two  of  which,  viz.,  Colonel  O'Gara's  and  Colonel 
Anthony  MacMahon's,  were  raised  but  the  winter  before 
and  had  been  on  no  service.  They  were  consequently  most 
unfit  to  be  put  upon  the  defence  of  a  place  threatened  with 
assault  the  next  day  by  a  daring  army.  Along  with  this 
relief  came  Major-General  Maxwell  for  better  managing 
the  defence. 

"  The  30th  June  (O.S.)  a  deserter  or  two  from  the  Irish 
camp  swam  the  river  to  the  English  very  early  in  the 
morning,  and  told  them  that  the  Irish  felt  secure  and  that 
the  garrison  consisted  of  but  three  ordinary  regiments. 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF   AUCHRIM          231 

Ginkel  commanded  two  thousand  men  to  make  ready  under 
the  command  of  Major-General  Mackay,  distributing  some 
money  among  the  men  as  a  cordial.  At  six  in  the  morning 
Captain  Sandys  and  two  lieutenants  led  through  the  ford  up 
to  the  armpits  sixty  grenadiers  in  armour,  twenty  abreast, 
followed  by  a  great  body  of  foot.  The  garrison  fired 
at  them  and  the  English  army  fired  in  amongst  the  garrison 
with  great  and  small  shot.  But  amidst  this  furious  storm 
the  adventurers  gained  the  bank  through  a  breach,  and 
casting  before  them  their  grenades  which  bursting  made 
frightful  effect  among  the  raw  soldiers  not  used  to  such 

"  Some  of  the  ingressors  ran  immediately  to  the  end  of 
the  bridge  and  helped  their  companions  on  the  other  side 
to  lay  beams  and  planks  on  the  broken  arch  ;  others  went  to 
assist  the  laying  of  the  bridge  of  boats,  by  which  the 
English  passed  into  the  town  so  fast  that  in  half  an  hour 
all  the  town  was  their  own,  the  garrison  being  forced  to 
yield  to  numbers  and  better  soldiers,  and  to  retreat  to  their 
army.  Thus  the  place  was  lost  against  all  expectation. 
Here  was  nothing  but  a  concatenation  of  errors  in  all  the 
enterprises  of  the  loyalists,  no  antecedent  experience 
rendering  them  wiser.  Of  the  Irish  a  few  were  slain, 
amongst  whom  were  Colonel  MacElligott  and  Colonel 
Richard  Grace  of  Courtown  ;  and  Major-General  Maxwell 
was  made  prisoner." 

The  Huguenot  officer  Dumont  de  Bostaquet  did  not 
serve  during  this  campaign,  but  as  he  got  his  information 
from  some  of  his  brother  officers,  his  brief  descriptions  of 
the  fights  at  Athlone  and  Aughrim  may  be  introduced  for 
purposes  of  comparison.  His  information  as  to  the  over- 
confidence  among  the  Irish  leaders  in  the  security  of 
Athlone  probably  gives  the  true  explanation  of  the  mis- 
fortune : — 

"  The  enemy  having  burnt  down  our  work  to  restore  the 
bridge  thought  themselves  quite  safe,  and  St.  Ruth  and  the 
other  generals  gave  themselves  up  to  amusement  not  think- 

232          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

ing  that  our  troops  could  do  anything  for  several  days ;  but 
General  Ginkel,  having  discovered  a  ford,  caused  a  strong 
body  of  infantry  to  cross  the  river  and  then  sent  over 
cavalry  to  support  them,  so  that  the  enemy  had  to  abandon 
this  part  of  the  town.  The  troops  who  came  to  their  help 
from  the  camp  were  driven  back  to  it  in  confusion." 

The  several  accounts  in  the  French  records  bear  out, 
generally  speaking,  these  statements.  The  defence  of 
East  Athlone  is  described  as  having  been  good,  and  General 
Wauchope  is  given  the  credit  of  it.  It  is  declared  that  the 
enemy  lost  500  good  troops  and  the  Irish  no  more  than  200. 
In  connection  with  this  fight  it  is  also  noted  that  the  Irish 
officers  are  improving  and  that  the  men  are  taking  more 
care  of  their  arms.  With  regard  to  the  capture  of  Athlone 
itself,  it  is  declared  that  the  enemy  were  so  quick  in  crossing 
the  ford  that  the  reinforcements  could  not  get  up  in  time, 
and  that  D'Usson,  hurrying  up  with  them,  was  knocked 
down  and  trampled  on. 

The  capture  of  Athlone,  with  the  best  crossing  over  the 
Shannon,  was  a  serious  blow  to  the  Irish  cause,  and  paved 
the  way  to  its  final  collapse.  It  seems  probable  that  St. 
Ruth  had  not  sufficient  knowledge  of  the  country  to  per- 
ceive all  the  importance  of  the  position  until  it  had  been 
lost,  and  there  must  have  been  some  neglect  on  the  part  of 
his  Irish  lieutenants  in  not  impressing  upon  him  the  vital 
need  to  hold  Athlone  at  all  cost.  There  and  not  at  Aughrim 
should  the  French  general  have  made  his  stand. 

Having  lost  Athlone  St.  Ruth  felt  bound  to  retreat,  retir- 
ing down  the  river  towards  Limerick.  Tyrconnell  strongly 
urged  him  to  return  to  Limerick,  to  refrain  from  coming 
to  a  general  action,  and  to  prolong  the  war  till  the  following 
year,  by  which  time  Louis  might  be  in  a  position  to  send 
troops  and  further  aid.  But  for  the  moment  no  one  would 
listen  to  Tyrconnell.  Besides,  St.  Ruth  was  very  much 
piqued  at  the  loss  of  Athlone,  for  which  he  was  inclined  to 
blame  D'Usson,  who  was  not  at  his  post  when  the  final 
attack  was  made.  D'Usson  also  was  against  risking  every- 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF    AUGHRIM          233 

thing  on  a  pitched  battle,  and  was  sent  off  to  Galway.  St. 
Ruth  took  the  view  that  his  military  honour  made  it 
imperative  that  he  should  risk  a  pitched  battle,  so  he 
slowly  retreated,  looking  out  carefully  for  a  favourable  spot 
on  which  to  make  his  stand.  He  found  it  near  the  small 
town  and  castle  of  Aughrim  or  Kilconnell. 

The  battle  of  Aughrim,  unlike  that  of  the  Boyne,  was  a 
real  trial  of  strength  between  the  two  opposing  armies, 
and  both  sides  could  look  back  on  the  affair  without  having 
to  blush  for  themselves  or  their  commanders.  It  is  always 
held  by  Irishmen  that  the  day  was  won  when  St.  Ruth  was 
killed,  and  although  Berwick  states  in  his  Memoirs  that  he 
did  not  believe  Aughrim  would  have  been  a  victory,  he  was 
not  there,  and  this  opinion  of  his,  at  least,  is  not  entitled  to 
much  weight.  Our  other  authority,  the  Huguenot  officer, 
Dumont  de  Bostaquet,  also  was  not  present,  but  in  his 
account  of  the  battle  he  assigns  the  credit  of  the  victory  to 
the  final  charge  of  Ruvigny  and  the  French  Protestant 

Let  us  commence  our  account  of  the  battle  with  Plun- 
kett's  narrative  : — 

"  He  (St.  Ruth)  marched  towards  Limerick  until  he  came 
a  little  beyond  the  village  of  Aughrim,  where  viewing  the 
ground  he  judged  it  convenient  for  his  design,  and  so  fixed 
there  his  camp  in  waiting  for  the  enemy.  Before  his  front 
he  had  a  morass,  over  which  foot  could  come  but  not  horse. 
At  each  end  of  this  morass  there  was  a  passage  through 
which  the  enemy's  horse  could  come  to  his  right  and  left 
flank.  That  on  the  right  was  a  little  ford  caused  by  a  stream 
issuing  from  the  morass.  That  on  the  left  was  an  old 
broken  causeway,  only  large  enough  for  two  horses  to  pass 
at  a  time  and  was  sixty  yards  long.  Beyond  this  causeway 
was  the  castle  of  Aughrim,  into  which  St.  Ruth  put  on  that 
day  Colonel  Walter  Bourk  and  two  hundred  men. 

"  He  marshalled  his  army  in  two  lines.  The  cavalry  on 
his  right  were  the  regiments  of  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell, 
of  the  Earl  of  Abercorn,  of  Colonel  Edmund  Prendergast 


(previously  that  of  Sutherland),  besides  dragoons.  This 
wing  was  to  see  that  the  enemy's  horse  did  not  break  in  on 
the  right  of  the  wing  through  the  pass  of  the  ford  and 
through  the  narrow  ground  lying  between  two  morasses 
after  passing  the  ford  ;  for  the  English  had  double  the 
number  in  cavalry,  though  the  Irish  had  some  advantage 
in  the  infantry.  'Twas  here  Lieutenant-General  de  Tesse 
and  Major-General  Sarsfield,  now  Earl  of  Lucan,  were 
posted.  On  the  left  St.  Ruth  placed  the  Earl  of  Lucan's 
regiment  of  horse,  and  those  of  Colonel  Henry  Luttrell, 
of  Colonel  John  Parker,  and  Colonel  Nicholas  Purcell  with 
a  body  of  dragoons.  The  Lord  of  Galmoye  withhis  regiment 
was  put  behind  the  second  line  of  the  foot  in  the  nature  of  a 
reserve  to  answer  occasions.  The  conduct  of  this  left  wing 
was  given  to  Major-General  Sheldon,  the  first  line  of  which 
Brigadier  Henry  Luttrell  commanded.  Their  business  was 
to  defend  the  pass  of  the  causeway,  near  to  which,  for  more 
security,  there  were  set  two  regiments  of  foot. 

"  Close  before  the  first  line  of  the  Irish  infantry  there 
were  a  few  old  ditches  which  were  serviceable  to  them  at  the 
first  charge  of  the  enemy.  The  management  of  the  infantry 
was  assigned  to  Major-General  Dorington  and  to  Major- 
General  John  Hamilton. 

"  No  doubt  St.  Ruth  showed  good  skill  in  choosing  his 
ground,  and  in  ranging  his  host  for  this  fight  where  his  all 
and  the  all  of  the  nation  lay  at  stake.  The  day  before  the 
combat  he  pronounced  some  words  wherein  he  manifested 
his  desire  that  all  men  would  withdraw  and  reserve  them- 
selves for  garrisons  who  were  sickly  or  unable  to  fight  as  they 
should  do. 

"  On  July  1 1  the  English  army  came  to  Ballinasloe,  three 
miles  from  Aughrim.  The  next  day  being  Sunday  it 
arrived  at  Aughrim  a  little  after  six  in  the  morning,  where, 
having  rested  a  little  while,  the  whole  army  was  drawn  up  in 
two  lines  of  battle.  The  Irish  were  at  that  juncture 
assisting  at  the  sacrifice  of  Mass,  and  a  little  after  prepared 
for  meridian  repast ;  but  General  St.  Ruth,  observing  the 

THE    CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          235 

enemy  arranging  in  order  for  fighting,  commanded  his  men 
to  be  marshalled  according  as  we  have  mentioned. 

"  Both  sides  being  fully  prepared,  action  began  a  little 
after  eleven,  which  mostly  consisted  in  the  playing  of  the 
artillery  and  in  skirmishes  for  gaining  and  defending  some 
advanced  posts  and  little  passes  towards  the  right  of  the 
Irish.  The  English  were  first  repulsed  and  afterwards 
acquired  those  outward  places.  Both  parties,  to  give  them 
their  due,  contended  with  extraordinary  valour,  insomuch 
that  their  combat  was  comely  amidst  death  and  wounds 
because  fought  with  military  skill. 

"  But  General  Ginkel,  not  satisfied  with  the  obtention  of 
these  little  advanced  posts,  resolved  to  come  closer  to  the 
matter  and  make  himself  master  of  the  ford  on  the  right  of 
the  enemy  that  he  might  get  in  that  way  with  his  cavalry 
amongst  the  Irish  foot,  which  he  perceived  was  somewhat 
superior,  at  least  upon  account  of  the  ground,  and  which  he 
seemed  to  fear  most  that  day.  Upon  this  he  ordered  down 
at  two  o'clock  a  great  body  of  horse  from  his  left  to  attack 
the  pass  of  the  ford.  Here  the  dispute  was  such  wherein 
the  English  were  first  repulsed  until  the  Earl  of  Portland's 
regiment  of  horse  joined  them,  and  thereby  they  pushed  the 
Irish  from  the  ford  to  the  body  of  their  cavalry  which  was 
hard  by,  where  they  stood  firm  their  ground  all  the  day  in 
spite  of  several  attempts  made  on  them,  because  the  English 
horse,  even  after  passing  the  ford,  could  not  spread  being 
enclosed  on  the  right  and  left  by  the  said  morasses. 

"  General  Ginkel  did  not  like,  hitherto,  the  countenance 
of  the  contention,  because  he  saw  no  way  to  weaken  the 
Irish  infantry  with  his  horse  if  he  should  generally  engage. 
This  consideration  put  him  in  a  doubt  whether  he  should 
continue  and  come  to  a  close  fight  that  day.  But  it  was 
soon  resolved  that  it  was  so  best.  Whereupon  he  commands 
his  left  wing  to  charge  again  violently  the  right  of  the  Irish 
horse  through  the  ford  at  five  in  the  afternoon,  which  they 
did  with  great  bravery,  and  as  well  they  were  resisted.  Be- 
tween these  wings  the  conflict  was  fierce.  But  at  the  end 

236          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

the  English  were  forced  to  recoil,  not  being  able  to  compass 
their  aim. 

"  'Twas  at  this  period  of  the  action  and  about  six  o'clock 
the  main  bodies  of  foot  on  both  sides  came  to  close  fight, 
and  sharp  it  was.  The  English  charged,  and  in  their 
advancing  the  Irish  slew  numbers  from  their  little  old 
ditches ;  the  English  gained  them  and  flew  in  boldly  among 
the  enemies.  The  Irish  returned  the  charge  and  broke  and 
pursued  them  with  much  slaughter.  Fresh  bodies  of 
English  came  on  again  and  held  the  strife  a  good  while  in 
balance.  General  Dorington  being  herein  pressed  sent  for 
the  two  regiments  of  foot  which  were  placed  in  the  begin- 
ning of  the  day  to  guard  the  pass  on  the  left.  At  the  same 
time  General  Ginkel  ordered  down  four  fresh  regiments  of 
foot  to  reinforce  his  combatants,  which  made  the  con- 
tention very  sanguinary  till  at  last  the  English  gave  ground 
and  the  Irish  advanced  near  the  enemy's  field  of  battle. 

"  This  repulse  was  no  sooner  given  than  a  grand  corps 
comes  pouring  down  on  the  Irish  for  the  third  time.  'Twas 
now  the  combat  seemed  more  violent  than  before  and  as  it 
were  the  last  effort.  After  an  obstinate  storm  the  English 
were  constrained  to  retreat.  The  Irish  followed,  making 
use  of  club  musket  whereby  the  foreigners  suffered  much. 
The  regiment  of  Guards  and  the  whole  royal  brigade  were 
particularly  noted  by  the  field  to  have  performed  uncommon 
execution.  The  Irish  pursued  so  far  that  they  gained  the 
enemy's  ground  and  maintained  themselves  thereon. 
Colonel  Gordon  O'Neil  with  his  regiment  took  some  of 
their  cannon. 

"  At  this  General  Ginkel,  seeing  his  centre  wholly  broken, 
his  left  wing  to  have  had  no  small  losses  without  being  able 
to  gain  their  point,  that  his  right  wing  could  not  with  any 
safety  get  over  to  the  left  of  the  Irish,  and  that  the  foe 
was  on  his  field  of  battle,  he  became  so  disturbed  in  his 
thought  that  he  could  not  well  resolve  what  to  do  unless  to 
take  his  flight,  of  which  some  marks  appeared  immediately. 

"  On  the  other  side  General  St.   Ruth  remarking  the 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          237 

condition  of  the  enemy  and  his  own  success  cried  out  in  his 
language  with  joy,  *  Le  jour  est  a  nous,  mes  enfants ! '  ('  the 
day  is  ours,  my  boys  !  '). 

"  Amidst  that  confusion  of  General  Ginkel  some  of  his 
great  officers  advised  him  for  his  last  remedium  to  attempt 
once  the  sending  his  right  wing  of  horse  over  the  pass  of 
Aughrim  castle,  notwithstanding  the  danger  thereof.  The 
general  took  this  desperate  advice  and  so  ordered  it  to  be 
executed  ;  upon  which  the  cavalry  marched,  Ruvigny's 
regiment  being  the  first. 

"  The  Marquis  of  St.  Ruth  observing  the  enemy  coming 
towards  the  pass,  he  gave  orders  to  the  left  wing  of  his  horse 
that  had  been  idle  all  the  day  to  go  and  oppose  him,  which 
he  knew  was  easily  done  and  therefore  he  continued  his  joy 
as  being  sure  of  his  point.  Here  we  are  to  take  notice  that 
this  long  bloody  contention  is  just  a-ending,  that  the 
victory  is  so  certainly  in  the  hands  of  the  Irish  that  nothing 
can  take  it  away  but  the  gaining  of  that  most  perilous  pass 
by  the  castle  of  Aughrim ;  that  the  defending  of  it  is  so 
easy  that  a  regiment  may  perform  the  task.  At  least  four 
regiments  of  horse  and  four  of  dragoons  might  make  the 
passage  impossible.  .  .  .  What  excuse  can  the  left  of  the 
King's  cavalry  make  for  themselves  if  they  will  not  hinder 
the  enemies  gaining  the  said  pass  ?  They  have  had  all  the  day 
conspicuous  examples  of  bravery  before  their  eyes.  .  .  . 

"  St.  Ruth,  having  sent  his  command  to  the  horse  to 
march  and  oppose  the  enemy  at  the  pass,  must  himself 
needs  go  along  to  see  them  perform  this  duty  that  there 
may  be  no  failure  in  the  last  scene  of  this  bloody  tragedy. 
They  march  and  the  General  followed  with  his  guards. 
But  as  he  was  riding  down  a  little  hill  a  cannon  ball  from  the 
other  side  directed  by  the  cannoneer  amongst  the  troops  that 
were  going  to  defend  the  pass  struck  him  in  the  head,  at 
which  he  fell  and  at  the  same  time  it  laid  the  nation 
prostrate  at  his  feet.  As  soon  as  the  body  was  down  one  of 
the  retinue  carried  it  off,  and  brought  the  corpse  to  the 
town  of  Loughreagh  and  there  interred  it  privately. 

238          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

"  His  death  was  immediately  made  known  by  a  deserter 
to  the  enemy,  who  thereupon  advanced  in  haste  to  the 
pass.  ...  As  soon  as  St.  Ruth  was  slain  the  guards  with- 
drew from  the  field.  Brigadier  Henry  Luttrell,  who  was  at 
the  pass  with  the  advanced  troops,  hearing  of  it  did  the  like 
after  a  small  resistance  given  to  the  first  arrived  enemies. 
Major-General  Sheldon  with  the  main  body  of  the  left  wing 
followed,  making  their  way  to  Loughreagh  and  thence  to 
Limerick.  At  the  same  time  the  Irish  infantry  went  on 
thundering  and  their  cavalry  on  the  right  stood  firm  to  their 
ground,  being  prepared  at  every  moment  to  encounter 
bravely  as  they  had  done  several  times  that  day,  little 
dreaming  that  their  horse  on  the  left  would  abandon 
them.  .  .  .  The  commanding  officers  of  the  left  wing  by 
abandoning  their  station  without  compulsion,  nay  without 
a  stroke,  were  either  traitors  to  their  King  and  country,  or 
by  exposing  their  foot  to  certain  murder  they  showed  a 
barbarous  indifference  for  the  safety  of  their  friends  and 
countrymen,  or  in  fine  were  notorious  cowards. 

"  But  to  proceed.  By  the  time  the  King's  horse  went  off 
the  field  the  enemy's  whole  right  wing  arrived  at  the  pass,  and 
seeing  no  opposition  beyond  they  confidently  went  through 
notwithstanding  the  fire  from  the  castle  on  the  right,  which 
fire  was  insignificant  for  it  slew  but  a  few  in  the  passage. 
The  reason  of  it  was  given  because  the  men  had  French 
pieces,  the  bore  of  which  was  small  and  had  English  ball 
which  was  too  large — a  new  miscarriage  through  heedless- 
ness  as  bad  as  treachery. 

"As  soon  as  the  hostile  cavalry  was  got  over  they  im- 
mediately enveloped  the  Irish  foot,  who  were  surprised  at 
their  hard  fate  while  they  were  mowing  the  field  of  honour. 
They  had  no  other  remedy  for  their  preservation  than  to 
retreat  as  fast  as  they  could,  making  their  way  to  Portumna 
and  so  forward  to  Limerick.  Most  of  the  horse  on  their 
right  made  off  likewise.  Only  the  Earl  of  Lucan  with  some 
troops  thereof  and  the  Lord  of  Galmoye  with  his  regiment 
did  good  service  in  covering  their  retreat  as  prosperously  as 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          239 

so  small  a  body  could  do.  This  and  the  arriving  night  and 
some  morasses  brought  them  off  indifferently  well.  'Twas 
their  officers  respectively  that  suffered  most.  In  the  same 
evening  late  the  castle  of  Aughrim  was  taken,  and  the 
commander  Colonel  Walter  Bourk  with  his  major,  eleven 
officers  and  forty  men  were  made  prisoners.  Thus  you  have 
seen  a  victory  snatched  out  of  the  hands  of  the  victorious.  " 

The  account  of  the  battle  given  by  James  in  his  Memoirs 
may  now  be  quoted  as  supplementing  that  of  Plunkett.  It 
was  probably  based  on  Dominic  Sheldon's  report  supplied 
later,  and  does  not  materially  differ  from  the  Irish  version. 
While  seeking  to  explain  how  it  was  that  "  the  extream 
good  "  cavalry  did  not  charge  and  left  the  infantry  in  the 
lurch,  the  truth  is  not  hidden  that  they  "  thought  of 
nothing  but  saving  themselves."  There  is  also  no  reason  for 
the  disparagement  of  the  Irish  infantry.  St.  Ruth  had  under 
him  some  newly  raised  regiments  and  he  was  naturally 
anxious  to  accustom  them  to  standing  under  fire,  but  the 
bulk  of  the  foot  consisted  of  the  troops  who  had  held  the 
breach  of  Limerick,  and  there  was  no  reason  to  be  nervous 
about  them.  King  James  was  also  a  little  mixed  as  to  the 
wings.  It  was  the  left  not  the  right  wing  of  the  Irish  army 
that  was  forced  by  the  passage  of  Ruvigny's  squadrons  over 
the  causeway  and  bog,  and  the  right  wing  kept  the  enemy 
at  bay  throughout  the  whole  of  the  day  and  did  something 
to  cover  the  retreat  of  the  infantry  while  the  left  simply 
galloped  away.  Here  King  James  speaks  : — 

"  St.  Ruth  being  a  little  piqued  at  the  late  disgrace, 
resolved  to  wait  for  the  enemie  at  Acrim  which  he  found  an 
advantageous  post,  so  encamped  himself  there  in  two  lines 
upon  a  riseing  ground  with  a  bog  before  him  on  which  there 
was  but  two  passes,  the  one  at  the  old  Castle  of  Acrim  on 
the  left  of  the  foot,  the  other  about  three  hundred  yards 
advanced  from  the  right,  and  because  he  put  his  greatest 
trust  in  the  horse  drew  the  right  wing  of  horse  of  the  first 
line  in  rear  of  the  right  of  the  first  line  of  foot.  On  Sunday 
July  12  the  enemy  advanced  with  their  foot  in  columns  to 

240          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

the  bog  side,  while  their  horse  took  a  great  round  to  flank 
the  right ;  they  had  no  positive  design  to  come  to  a  general 
action,  but  to  try  the  countenance  of  the  King's  army,  and 
to  drive  them  if  possible  from  that  post  with  their  cannon, 
but  being  once  engaged  and  encouraged  by  their  former 
successes  soon  brought  it  to  a  decisive  point.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  Irish  considering  this  was  like  to  prove  the  last 
effort  for  re-establishing  the  King's  authority  and  secureing 
the  estates  and  liberties  of  an  oppressed  people,  expected 
them  with  great  constancy,  and  convinced  the  English 
troops  they  had  to  doe  with  men  no  less  resolute  than  them- 
selves ;  so  that  never  was  assault  made  with  greater  fury 
or  sustained  with  greater  obstinacy  especially  by  the  foot, 
who  not  only  maintained  their  posts  and  defended  the 
hedges  with  great  valour,  but  repulsed  the  enemie  several 
times  particularly  in  the  centre  and  took  some  prisoners  of 
distinction  ;  in  so  much  that  they  looked  upon  the  victory 
as  in  a  manner  certain,  and  St.  Ruth  was  in  a  transport  of 
joy  to  see  the  foot,  of  which  he  had  so  mean  an  opinion, 
behave  themselves  so  well  and  performe  action  worthy  of  a 
better  fate. 

"  But  it  seems  in  the  beginning  of  the  day  St.  Ruth 
(perceiving  that  the  enemy  who  outnumbered  him  stretched 
out  their  left  so  far  that  he  feared  being  flanked)  ordered 
the  second  line  of  the  left  to  march  to  the  right ;  but  he 
who  was  to  execute  that  order  caused  a  battalion  of  the  first 
line  to  file  off  with  the  rest  supposing  the  bog  in  the  front 
would  prevent  the  enemies  advancing,  but  they  who  stood 
in  awe  of  that  battalion  while  it  faced  them  took  courage 
when  it  was  gone,  and  by  the  help  of  hurdles  made  a  shift  to 
get  over  the  bog,  and  at  the  same  time  four  squadrons  of  the 
enemies  horse  passing  a  causey  began  to  forme  themselves  on 
the  other  side  of  the  defile.  As  soon  as  the  General  was 
informed  of  the  fault  that  had  been  made  he  ordered  all  the 
cavalry  to  march,  putting  himself  at  the  head  of  it,  which 
being  extream  good  would  soon  have  dispersed  those  few 
squadrons  of  the  enemie,  who  as  yet  were  but  a  formeing, 

THE    CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          241 

when  by  a  cannon  shot  he  was  unfortunately  killed  just  as  he 
was  saying  to  those  about  him  :  '  They  are  beaten,  let  us 
beat  them  to  the  purpose.'  This  accident  caused  a  great 
confusion,  and  tho'  endeavours  were  made  to  conceal  his 
death,  yet  the  first  squadron  of  the  Life  Guards,  who  was 
next  him,  stopping  upon  it,  the  rest  did  the  same  and 
occasioned  great  delay,  which  the  enemie  took  care  to  profit 
by,  and  passing  in  the  interim  a  considerable  body  of  horse 
through  the  defiles  attacked  and  broke  both  the  lines  of  the 
Irish  foot,  the  horse  advancing  not  in  time  to  their  assistance; 
but  instead  of  that  giving  all  for  lost  thought  of  nothing 
but  saveing  themselves,  and  so  gave  an  entire  victory  to  the 

"  The  night,  indeed,  coming  on  prevented  the  pursute. 
However,  the  Irish  lost  near  four  thousand  men,  nor  was 
that  of  the  English  much  inferior." 

Dumont  gives  the  whole  credit  of  the  victory  to  Ruvigny 
and  his  regiment  : 

"  The  battle  of  Aghrim  was  obstinately  contested,  and 
the  victory  hung  for  some  time  in  the  balance.  But  M.  de 
Ruvigny  and  his  regiment  fought  so  well  that  the  contest 
turned  in  our  favour.  The  enemy's  cavalry  fled  and 
abandoned  the  infantry  which  suffered  heavily.  Only  the 
intervention  of  night  saved  it  from  being  cut  to  pieces." 

The  reports  of  the  French  officers  on  the  battle  have 
never  been  published.  Here  are  some  summaries  of  them. 

Fumeron  writes  :  "  The  battle  began  at  I  o'clock  and 
continued  till  8.  The  Irish  fought  well  and  would  have 
won  the  day  but  for  St.  Ruth's  death  and  Tesse's  being 
wounded  when  no  general  was  left."  Fumeron  concludes 
by  asking  for  7000  muskets  to  arm  the  troops  in  Limerick. 

Tesse,  despite  his  wound,  wrote  a  little  later  :  "  The 
battle  lasted  from  1 1  to  7.  Every  attack  was  repulsed  all 
along  the  line  till  at  last  the  enemy's  horse  got  over  the 
causeway.  The  change  in  the  conduct  of  the  troops  after 
St.  Ruth's  death  was  simply  extraordinary."  Finally 

242          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

Colonel  La  Tour  wrote  :  "  Ireland  is  not  lost  for  this 
defeat  if  only  arms  and  supplies  are  sent.  There  are  plenty 
of  men." 

The  details  of  a  battle  fought  so  long  ago  and  ending  in  a 
scene  of  confusion  are  not  clearly  discoverable,  and  it  would 
be  almost  idle  to  attempt  to  follow  them.  But  it  is  not 
difficult  to  imagine  what  really  occurred  on  the  left  wing. 
When  the  fight  in  the  centre  was  at  its  height,  Dorington, 
it  will  be  remembered,  withdrew  the  two  foot  regiments 
which  had  been  assisting  Sheldon's  cavalry  in  guarding  the 
causeway.  That  weakened  the  left  wing  materially.  After 
the  fight  in  the  centre  had  gone  in  favour  of  the  Irish,  they 
advanced  and  took  possession  of  some  of  the  ground  of  their 
opponents.  This  forward  movement  not  merely  took  the 
infantry  further  away  from  the  left,  but  rendered  it  less 
easy  to  see  what  was  happening  there.  It  seems  perfectly 
clear  that  the  English,  or  rather  the  Huguenot  cavalry,  on 
traversing  the  causeway  got  in  the  rear  of  the  centre,  while 
the  three  cavalry  regiments  on  the  right,  under  Sarsfield 
and  Tesse,  were  too  far  off  and  too  concerned  in  guarding 
the  ford  to  countermarch  and  arrest  Ruvigny's  progress  in 
time.  The  culminating  calamity  was,  however,  the  death 
of  St.  Ruth,  and  the  delay  that  followed  in  bringing  a 
reinforcement  to  the  left. 

But  no  excuse  can  be  offered  for  the  behaviour  of  the 
cavalry.  Two  of  the  Colonels,  Henry  Luttrell  and  Nicholas 
Purcell,  were  suspected  of  treason  and  their  regiments 
simply  right-about-faced  and  galloped  off.  Sarsfield's 
regiment,  which  was  detached  from  its  commander  who  was 
on  the  right,  followed  after,  and  the  only  excuse  that  was 
ever  offered  was  that  the  cavalry  horses  were  stiff  from 
waiting  throughout  the  long  day,  and  that  they  were  taken 
at  a  disadvantage  and  had  not  room  enough  to  charge.  But 
even  if  the  fullest  weight  be  allowed  for  all  these  circum- 
stances, it  leaves  the  flight  of  the  cavalry  in  utter  indiffer- 
ence to  the  plight  of  the  infantry  an  unexplained  enigma 
and  an  indelible  shame. 

THE   CAMPAIGN   OF   AUGHRIM          243 

The  full  French  report  states  that  the  heat  of  the  battle 
lasted  three  hours,  that  the  Irish  infantry  fought  well,  and 
inflicted  as  heavy  a  loss  on  the  English  as  they  suffered 
themselves.  The  losses  of  the  Irish  infantry  were  exceed- 
ingly heavy.  Some  regiments,  those  in  particular  of  Lords 
Clanrickarde  and  Kenmare,  were  practically  destroyed. 
The  two  Major-Generals,  Dorington  and  John  Hamilton, 
were  taken  prisoners.  Lord  Galway  and  Lord  Dillon  (Theo- 
bald) were  killed.  Lords  Kenmare,  Slane,  Bophin  (after- 
wards fifth  Earl  of  Clanrickarde)  and  Duleek  (Bellew)  were 
taken  prisoners  and  kept  so  till  after  the  Limerick  Con- 
vention. John  Hamilton,  the  ablest  soldier  of  all  the 
Hamilton  brothers,  died  of  his  wounds  in  Dublin  three 
months  later.  Plunkett  who,  strangely  enough,  omits  the 
name  of  Lord  Dillon,  writes  : — 

"  In  the  long  and  bloody  strife,  both  on  the  field  of 
bravery  and  in  the  accidental  retreat,  there  were  slain  of 
the  Irish  officers  and  soldiers  about  two  thousand,  and  six 
hundred  wounded.  The  wounded  soon  almost  all  recovered, 
and  joined  the  army  at  Limerick  within  six  weeks  after. 
Amongst  the  slain  was  the  great  General  St.  Ruth,  worthy 
of  lasting  memory.  Next  after  him  the  noble  youth  the 
Lord  Bourk  (de  Burgh),  Viscount  of  Galway,  son  to 
the  potent  Earl  of  Clanrickarde.  He  was  despatched  by 
foreigners  after  quarter  given  as  'tis  said.  Brigadier  Connel, 
Brigadier  William  Mansfield  Barker,  an  English  gentleman 
early  killed  by  a  cannon  ball,  Brigadier  Henry  Macjohn 
O'Neil,  Colonel  Charles  Moore  of  Kildare  with  his  Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel and  Major,  Colonel  David  Bourk,  Colonel 
Ulick  Bourk,  Colonel  Constantine  Macguire,  Colonel  James 
Talbot  of  Templeogue,  Colonel  Arthur,  Colonel  Mahony, 
Lieutenant-Colonel  Morgan  an  English  gentleman,  Major 
Purcell,  Sir  John  Everard  of  Fethard,  Colonel  Felix  O'Neil, 
and  Dean  Alexius  Stafford  of  Wexford,  an  undaunted 
zealot  and  a  most  pious  churchman,  who  fell  in  front  of  the 
royal  regiment  as  he  was  encouraging  them  on  the  first 
charge.  There  were  made  prisoners  the  Lord  of  Duleek,  the 

244          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Lord  of  Slane,  the  Lord  of  Bophin,  son  to  the  Earl  of 
Clanrickarde,  the  Lord  of  Kenmare,  Major-General  Doring- 
ton,  Major-General  John  Hamilton,  who  died  at  Dublin 
soon  after  of  his  wounds,  Brigadier  Tuite,  Colonel  Walter 
Bourk,  Colonel  Gordon  O'Neil,  Colonel  Thomas  Butler  of 
Kilcash,  Colonel  O'Connel,  Colonel  Edmund  Madden, 
and  several  others." 

Creditable  as  it  was  to  the  men  who  fought  there,  the 
battle  of  Aughrim  was  really  the  fatal  blow  to  the  Irish 
cause.  With  the  exception  of  St.  Ruth  and  Tesse  no 
French  officers  were  present.  It  was  an  entirely  Irish  battle 
fought  under  a  French  general,  who  certainly  displayed 
great  tactical  ability,  but  the  death  of  this  general  left  the 
Irish  army  without  a  leader.  No  one  seemed  able  to 
concoct  a  tactical  plan,  and  all  Tyrconnell  could  do  was  to 
prepare  as  well  as  he  could  to  defend  Limerick  a  second  time 
whilst  he  sent  urgent  messengers  to  France  to  implore 
material  assistance  at  once,  to  enable  him  to  hold  out  through 
the  winter,  and  a  fresh  army  for  the  New  Year.  He  sent 
the  Earl  of  Abercorn  and  Dr.  Doran  on  this  mission  in 
separate  ships.  Lord  Abercorn's  vessel  was  intercepted  by 
a  Dutch  man-of-war,  and  he  was  killed  in  the  fight.  Dr. 
Doran,  more  fortunate,  reached  St.  Germains,  and  told  the 
story  of  Aughrim  and  how  affairs  stood  in  Ireland. 

Chapter  X 


IN  the  final  phase  of  the  three  years'  struggle  when  the 
National  or  Jacobite  cause  is  flickering  to  extinction, 
the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell  reappears  in  the  ascendant. 
His  enemies  and  detractors  are  silenced  or  themselves 
discredited.  The  French  officers  left  are  of  no  special  rank 
or  ability.  Sarsfield,  who  might  have  taken  the  lead,  is 
somewhat  ashamed  of  himself  for  having  aided  traitors,  and 
although  the  evidence  is  not  yet  conclusive,  no  one  doubts 
that  Henry  Luttrell  is  guilty  of  high  treason.  Tyrconnell 
resumes  the  personal  charge  of  affairs,  and  his  advice  and 
intentions  are  to  prolong  the  defence  of  Limerick  until 
the  spring  of  1692,  by  which  time  he  declares  aid  must  come 
from  France.  He  has  not  lost  his  courage  although  his  bulk 
has  got  immense,  and  he  sets  an  example  of  fortitude  to  his 
despairing  counsellors.  Henry  Luttrell  and  Nicholas  Purcell, 
the  laggards  of  Aughrim,  do  not  conceal  their  opinion  that 
further  resistance  is  futile  and  that  now  is  the  time  to  come 
to  terms.  Tyrconnell  has  an  old  score  to  clear  off  with 
them.  They  are  the  same  men  who  went  to  St.  Germains 
to  undermine  his  position,  and  who  humiliated  him  in  the 
camp  at  Athlone. 

The  defeat  at  Aughrim  was  speedily  followed  by  another 
misfortune.  D'Usson  had  been  sent  by  St.  Ruth  to  look 
after  Galway  while  he  was  deciding  what  course  he  should 
take  about  his  laches  at  Athlone.  The  general-in-chief  felt 
that  there  would  arrive  a  better  opportunity  for  a  court 
martial  than  the  eve  of  an  important  battle.  The  garrison 
at  Galway  did  not  exceed  2500  men,  made  up  of  several  skele- 


246          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

ton  regiments.  There  were  also  six  field-pieces  in  the  place, 
but  there  does  not  seem  to  have  been  any  good  reason  for 
supposing  that  it  could  hold  out  for  any  lengthy  period  if 
seriously  attacked.  The  matter  was  soon  put  to  the  test, 
for  four  days  after  the  battle  at  Aughrim,  Ginkel  marched 
to  attack  it. 

The  story  may  as  well  be  given  in  Plunkett's  words  : — 
"  Ginkel  marched  towards  Galway  bringing  along  with 
him  only  his  field-pieces,  having  left  his  heavy  cannons  at 
Athlone.  It  seems  by  this  that  he  presumed  on  his  good 
fortune  that  Galway  would  make  little  resistance.  This 
town  is  maritime  and  chief  of  the  province  of  Connaught. 
It  is  pretty  strong  by  situation,  but  might  have  been  made  a 
noble  fortress  with  an  indifferent  expense,  which  had  been 
neglected  during  the  war  as  other  works  of  moment  were. 
The  houses  within  are  built  like  castles  for  strength,  so  that 
a  smart  resistance  may  be  given  to  the  enemy  even  after 
entering  the  town,  the  governor  whereof  was  then  Lord 
Dillon  (Henry),  and  to  his  assistance  Lieutenant-General 
D'Usson  entered. 

"  On  the  1 6th  Ginkel  with  his  army  came  to  Loughreagh, 
on  the  1 7th  to  Athenry  within  eight  miles  of  Galway.  On 
the  1 8th  Galway  was  invested,  in  which  there  were  seven 
regiments  of  foot,  not  full  nor  well  armed.  Baldarg 
O'Donnell  was  expected  there  with  a  thousand  men,  but  he 
came  not  and  afterwards  made  conditions  for  himself  and 
took  the  Prince  of  Orange's  side  at  the  end  of  the  war. 
On  July  1 9th  Ginkel  planted  a  battery  against  a  little  new 
fort  which  the  Irish  had  made  near  the  town.  He  took  it  that 
same  day.  Immediately  after  he  raised  his  batteries  against 
the  town.  On  the  2ist  the  Governor  having  considered  the 
great  declension  of  Irish  affairs,  thought  it  fit  not  to  hold 
out  the  place  any  longer,  and  so  the  same  day  he  called  for 
parley.  The  treaty  was  concluded  on  July  24  whereby  the 
garrison  got  their  own  demands,  and  the  town  also  for  en- 
joying their  estates,  the  exercise  of  their  religion,  and  other 
rights  and  privileges  that  are  due  to  free-born  subjects. 

THE    SECOND    SIEGE   OF    LIMERICK     247 

On  26th  the  Marquis  D'Usson  went  to  Limerick,  so  did  the 
Lord  Dillon  with  the  garrison,  being  about  two  thousand 
three  hundred  men  and  six  pieces  of  cannon." 

Neither  in  Plunkett's  version,  nor  in  the  Articles  of 
Capitulation  is  there  any  evidence  supporting  James's 
attack  on  Lord  Clanrickarde,  who,  he  alleges,  "  considering 
with  others  nothing  but  their  own  security,  made  haste  to 
surrender  it."  Probably  James  did  not  appreciate  the  facts 
of  the  situation.  Lord  Clanrickarde  had  just  been  deprived 
of  his  two  sons — one  slain,  the  other  a  prisoner  although 
destined  to  survive  the  vicissitudes  of  prison — and  the  bulk 
of  his  followers  at  Aughrim.  The  garrison  and  resources  of 
Galway  did  not  admit  of  any  protracted  defence.  To  have 
attempted  a  futile  resistance  signified  incurring  the  mass- 
acre of  the  garrison.  An  honourable  surrender  left  it  at 
liberty  to  join  the  troops  at  Limerick  for  the  last  rally. 
Among  those  who  marched  out  of  Galway  with  D'Usson 
and  Dillon  were  Lady  Iveagh,  Lieut. -Colonel  Luke 
Reilly  and  his  brother  Philip  Reilly.  The  hostages  for  the 
due  performance  of  the  terms  of  capitulation  were  Lords 
Clanrickarde  and  Enniskillen,  Dominic  Browne  and  Thomas 
Dillon.  Fumeron  confines  himself  to  stating  that  "  Galway 
surrendered  because  the  Irish  were  panic-stricken  by 

Tyrconnell  had  in  the  meantime  ordered  a  levee  en  masse 
among  the  Irish  of  the  counties  left  to  him,  and  so  far  as 
numbers  went  the  gaps  of  Aughrim  were  filled  up,  but  the 
new  levies  were  only  raw  troops  and  imperfectly  armed. 
A  French  return  shows  how  the  Irish  army  after  Aughrim 
had  fallen  to  8140  infantry  (only  3910  armed),  2400 
cavalry,  and  2360  dragoons.  Lord  Kenmare's  regiment  had 
only  237  left  out  of  800  men.  Some  of  the  Duke's  advisers 
wished  him  to  risk  a  second  battle,  but,  more  cautious,  he 
concentrated  his  efforts  on  defending  Limerick.  He  had 
also  to  reckon  with  the  disintegrating  forces  at  work  in  his 
own  camp.  The  circumstances  did  not,  however,  admit 
of  his  placing  Henry  Luttrell  on  his  trial  for  cowardice  at 

248          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Aughrim.  Among  other  reasons  for  not  doing  so  it  would 
have  been  hard  to  explain  how  General  Dominic  Sheldon, 
chief  commander  of  the  cavalry  of  the  left  wing,  should  not 
be  included  in  the  charge.  The  Duke  had  to  bide  his  time, 
but  soon  circumstances  gave  him  his  chance. 

At  the  end  of  July  (O.S.)  news  was  brought  of  the 
approach  of  the  Galway  garrison  under  charge  of  an  English 
escort,  and  Colonel  Henry  Luttrell  was  sent  with  his 
regiment  to  take  over  the  men  at  Six  Mile  Bridge.  Here  he 
got  into  conversation  with  one  of  Ginkel's  officers  named 
Sebastian,  and  the  subject  not  unnaturally  turned  up  as  to 
the  possibility  of  terminating  the  war.  Luttrell  was  only 
one  of  some  fifty  colonels  in  the  Irish  army,  but  he  took  it 
upon  himself  to  say  that  he  thought  it  would  be  an  easy 
matter  to  arrange,  provided  General  Ginkel  had  sufficient 
powers.  That  was  the  beginning  of  Luttrell's  treason. 

This  proposal  accorded  so  well  with  Ginkel's  own  wishes, 
for  he  knew  that  his  master  wanted  the  war  in  Ireland  to  be 
ended  as  speedily  as  possible,  that  he  determined  to  follow 
up  the  matter.  A  trumpeter  was  sent  a  few  days  later  to 
Limerick  to  enquire  about  the  condition  of  some  of  the 
English  wounded  officers  in  the  hands  of  the  Irish,  and  at 
the  same  time  he  bore  a  letter  to  Colonel  Henry  Luttrell 
from  Sebastian  enquiring  if  there  was  any  chance  of  the 
matter  they  had  discussed  at  Six  Mile  Bridge  coming  off. 
The  English  commander  had  assumed  Luttrell's  presence  in 
Limerick,  whereas  he  was  in  the  cavalry  camp  a  few  miles 
out  of  the  town.  The  letter  for  him  from  the  English 
camp  was  therefore  taken  to  Lord  Lucan,  who  at  once  broke 
the  seal.  The  contents  clearly  revealed  illicit  communica- 
tion with  the  enemy,  and  Lucan  forthwith  placed  it  in 
Tyrconnell's  hands,  although  he  and  Luttrell  had  been 

Luttrell  was  thereupon  arrested,  tried  by  court  martial, 
and  received  the  benefit  of  the  doubt,  for  the  Court  decided 
that  he  did  not  deserve  death.  This  was  proof  that  he  had 
many  friends,  and  Tyrconnell  had  perforce  to  content 


himself  with  keeping  him  a  close  prisoner  and  reporting  the 
matter  to  James  for  his  decision.  There  seems  no  doubt  that 
despite  the  verdict  of  the  Court  Tyrconnell  would  have 
had  him  shot,  but  that  Ginkel  sent  in  a  message  to  the  effect 
that  he  would  hang  every  Irish  officer  in  his  power  if  he  were 
touched.  But  before  any  decision  could  arrive  from  the 
King  in  France  much  had  happened,  and  after  the  peace 
was  concluded  Luttrell  was  released  and  received  a  pension 
of  .£500  a  year  from  the  English  Government.  Among  the 
Irish  he  was  always  known  as  "  false  Luttrell,"  and  in  1717, 
when  the  memory  of  his  conduct  might  have  been 
thought  to  have  passed  away,  he  was  assassinated  at  the 
door  of  his  house  in  Dublin  by  one  who  was  never  dis- 

This  incident  was  almost  the  last  act  of  authority  in  the 
Viceroyalty  of  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell.  A  few  days  after 
the  Luttrell  trial  Tyrconnell  thought  it  wise  to  call  upon  the 
army  and  the  people  to  take  an  oath  of  loyalty  binding  them- 
selves not  to  make  peace  until  the  following  spring.  This 
oath  was  administered  with  all  the  formalities  of  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  and  its  breach  would  have  entailed  ex- 
communication. A  few  days  later  Tyrconnell  dined  with  the 
French  general  D'Usson.  The  party  was  described  as  a 
merry  one  and  broke  up  late.  On  returning  to  his  house  the 
Duke  suddenly  complained  of  being  ill,  and  was  put  to  bed. 
Four  days  later,  August  24,  1691,  he  was  dead,  and  it  was 
more  than  suspected  that  he  had  been  poisoned.  Before  he 
became  unconscious  he  signed  the  papers  appointing  three 
Lord  Justices  to  administer  the  realm,  or  what  was  left  of  it, 
in  the  name  of  King  James.  They  were  the  Chancellor, 
Alexander  Fitton,  Lord  Gosworth,  Sir  Richard  Nagle,  and 
Mr.  Plowden.  These  appointments  were  not  popular  with 
the  Irish,  because  Fitton  and  Plowden  were  Englishmen. 
Tyrconnell  was  buried  on  August  26  (N.S.)  in  the  Cathe- 
dral of  Limerick,  and  Plunkett  supplies  his  best  epitaph  : 
'  Thus  this  great  man  fell,  who  in  his  fall  pulled  down  a 
mighty  edifice,  videlicet  a  considerable  Catholic  nation,  for 

250          THE   BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

there  was  no  other  subject  left  able  to  support  the  national 

Berwick,  who  inherited  much  of  his  father's  inclination  to 
ill-natured  criticism,  described  him  as  "  a  man  of  very  good 
sense,  very  obliging,  but  immoderately  vain  and  full  of 
cunning.  He  had  not  a  military  genius,  but  much  courage. 
From  the  time  of  the  Battle  of  the  Boyne  he  sank  pro- 
digiously, being  become  as  irresolute  in  his  mind  as  unwieldy 
in  his  person."  Juster  than  the  Stuart  family,  the  French 
who  knew  him  styled  him  a  "fort  honnete  bomme"  and 
Father  Anselm  in  his  funeral  oration  in  the  Church  of  the 
English  Sisters  in  the  Faubourg  St.  Antoine  on  August  22, 
1692,  extolled  him  as  the  type  of  the  faithful  man  "  who 
feared  God  and  honoured  his  King." 

Finding  that  the  negotiations  with  those  who  took  a 
black  view  of  the  state  of  the  Irish  cause,  and  who  were 
called  by  some  "  the  desponders,"  were  not  likely  to  lead  to 
any  immediate  result,  Ginkel  summoned  his  heavy  artillery 
from  Athlone  and  proceeded  to  attack  Limerick,  but  he  was 
also  waiting  for  something  else,  namely,  the  arrival  of  the 
powerful  Anglo-Dutch  fleet,  which  had  been  ordered  to  the 
Shannon  to  co-operate  in  its  siege.  In  1690  William's 
attack  had  been  made  exclusively  from  the  land.  The 
French  were  for  the  moment  masters  of  the  sea  in  a 
qualified  sense,  and  had  at  least  a  few  vessels  in  the  river. 
But  Marlborough's  successful  expedition  to  Cork  had  opened 
the  eyes  of  the  authorities  in  London  to  the  advantages  of 
a  combined  attack,  and  in  1691  William,  on  hearing  of  the 
victory  at  Aughrim,  sent  a  strong  naval  force  to  blockade 
the  river  and  to  lend  a  helping  hand  to  the  land  troops. 
It  was  the  addition  of  the  fleet  to  Ginkel's  army  that  baffled 
the  Irish  defence,  and  the  reader  of  Colonel  Richards's  diary 
that  follows  will  have  no  doubt  on  the  subject.  It  was  this 
attack  from  an  unexpected  side  that  more  than  neutralised 
the  great  improvement  that  had  been  made  in  the  defences 
of  Limerick  during  the  twelve  months  which  intervened 
between  the  two  sieges.  Our  description  of  the  second 


siege  cannot  commence  better  than  with  the  narrative  of 
the  English  Colonel : — 


"  Tuesday,  2$  August  (O.S.),  1691.  After  my  tedious  journey 
unto  Brigadier  O'Donel  I  arrived  at  Carrickonlish  just  as  our  army 
was  decamping  to  invest  Limerick.  Here  I  found  the  heavy  cannon 
and  the  three  mortars  from  Athlone,  where  we  were  forced  to 
leave  one  i8-pr.  and  a  mortar  for  want  of  draught  horses.  We 
found  the  enemy  posted  in  the  old  forts  made  in  Cromwell's  time. 
Their  horse  they  passed  immediately  on  the  other  side  of  the  river. 
A  party  of  foot,  horse,  and  dragoons  commanded  by  Sir  John  Han- 
mer  attacked  the  forts  and  carried  them,  with  the  loss  of  three 
or  four  men.  The  river  below  the  town  is  about  eight  or  nine 
hundred  paces. 

"  Wednesday,  26th.  Two  hundred  horses  this  morning  were 
sent  to  Carrickonlish  for  the  heavy  cannon  there,  which  all  arrived 
safe  in  our  camp  about  two  o'clock. 

"  Thursday,  2jth.  Early  this  morning  the  General  went  to 
the  left  to  the  water-side,  where  we  had  begun  a  sort  of  a  trench. 
The  enemies  brought  down  two  pieces  of  cannon  to  a  house  on 
the  other  side  of  the  river,  so  that  two  or  three  of  our  regiments 
were  obliged  to  change  their  ground,  being  incommoded  by  their 
shot.  This  morning  went  away  a  detachment  with  three  12-prs. 
under  the  command  of  the  Prince  of  Hesse  to  Castle  Connel,  with 
orders  to  hang  all  the  officers  and  to  put  the  soldiers  to  the  sword 
when  reduced.  The  Prince  of  Hesse  sent  to  acquaint  the  General 
that  Castle  Connel  was  of  that  strength  as  not  to  be  forced,  upon 
which  the  General  sent  me  to  his  assistance.  I  took  with  me  more 
powder  and  ball,  a  petard  and  petardier. 

"  Friday,  2%th.  About  six  o'clock  we  began  to  batter  the  en- 
velope with  two  cannon  only,  one  being  split.  At  eight  arrived 
the  other  two  pieces,  so  now  we  have  four.  At  this  time  about 
four  or  five  hundred  horse  and  dragoons  of  the  enemy  drew  up  on 
the  other  side,  made  signals  to  the  castle,  and  told  them  they  should 
be  relieved  immediately.  I  ordered  the  broken  gun  to  be  drawn  on 
the  top  of  a  hill,  with  which  we  beat  the  horse  from  their  ground. 
.  .  .  The  petardier,  with  two  grenadiers,  fixed  the  petard  to  the 
gate  with  very  good  success,  upon  which  the  enemies  beat  a  parley, 
but  their  demands  being  extravagant  the  prince  did  not  hearken 
to  them.  The  news  of  the  enemie's  coming  over  was  again  con- 
firmed, so  that  the  prince  thought  it  not  prudent  to  play  a  hazardous 
game  ;  therefore  granted  them  to  march  out  without  their  arms, 
and  according  to  their  capitulations  they  are  to  be  subsisted  till 

252          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

sent  into  Hungary  to  fight  against  the  Turks  in  the  Emperor's 
service.  In  the  place  we  found  fifty  barrels  of  barley  and  meal,  a 
stack  of  hay  and  about  thirty  cows,  two  casks  of  brandy  and  one  of 
claret,  with  several  barrels  of  powdered  beef,  and  but  little  ammu- 
nition. The  ships  now  lie  within  two  miles  of  the  town  (Limerick) ; 
orders  have  been  given  for  the  unloading  first  of  what  is  most  neces- 
sary, as  24~pr.  balls,  powder,  etc. 

"  29  August.  The  General  having  ordered  that  the  batteries 
for  cannon  should  be  begun,  five  hundred  men  are  ordered  for  the 
same  work.  The  line  of  communication,  forts  and  retrenchments  are 
continued  against  the  town. 

"  30  August.  The  *  Maid  of  Dort,'  loaded  with  planks  and 
timbers  for  our  batteries,  was  taken  out  of  Kingsale  by  a  French 
privateer.  This  loss  incommodes  us  very  much.  Last  night  a 
battery  of  nine  24-prs.  was  very  much  advanced.  Our  lodgment 
for  nine  mortar  pieces  was  completed,  and  this  night  began  to 
play  bombs  and  carquasses,  which  put  fire  in  several  places  in  the  town. 

"31  August.  The  battery  of  nine  24-prs.  is  now  augmented 
to  fourteen.  The  five  new  24-prs.  sent  from  the  Tower  of  London, 
and  the  two  great  mortars  of  18  inches  are  ordered  to  be  landed 
to-night.  We  endeavoured  to  shoot  at  the  great  bridge,  but  the 
distance  was  too  great  to  effect  any  good,  and  it  was  not  thought 
convenient  to  approach  nigher,  so  as  to  engage  in  a  siege,  but  only 
to  cannonade  and  ruin  the  houses. 

"  I  September.  The  General  sent  very  early  for  Colonel  Goar, 
and  ordered  him  to  re-embark  all  our  heavy  cannon,  etc.,  keeping 
only  ashore  the  field-pieces  with  a  proportion  of  powder  and  ball 
for  a  battle.  Towards  night  the  General  sent  orders  that  six  mortars 
and  nine  twenty-four-prs.  should  be  left  in  battery  till  further 

"  2  September.  This  morning  the  General  went  to  see  the  ground 
where  Cromwell  (Ireton)  made  his  bridge.  The  river  hereabouts 
is  very  narrow,  which  I  believe  gives  room  for  some  new  design, 
for  the  embarkation  of  our  cannon  is  now  countermanded.  The 
cannon  and  mortars  in  battery  continue  playing.  In  the  evening 
came  a  messenger  from  Brigadier  Levison  to  acquaint  the  General 
that  he  had  wholly  routed  a  great  party  of  the  enemie's  men  to 
Newcastle,  and  had  taken  my  Lord  (Castle  Connell)  and  his  lady 

"  3  September.  The  enemie's  horse  now  makes  a  motion,  and 
have  camped  on  the  side  of  a  hill  three  miles  above  the  town  over 
against  Foxon's  House.  A  design  was  immediately  on  foot  to  cut 
between  the  town  and  them,  but,  this  changing,  orders  were  given 
for  the  further  bombarding  the  town  by  transporting  the  cannon 
and  mortars  from  the  right  to  the  left  of  last  year's  attack. 


"  4  September.  This  night  we  began  our  new  batteries  with  about 
seven  hundred  workmen.  Some  little  disasters  happened  this  night 
by  a  false  alarm,  the  regiments  of  Verner  and  Meath  not  being  at 
their  post  to  cover  the  pioneers  which  the  General  took  very  ill. 

"  5  September.  One  hundred  and  fifty  dragoons  were  sent  to  make 
the  ways  for  our  cannon  from  the  camp  to  their  new  batteries.  Four 
hundred  workmen  were  also  ordered  to  relieve  the  seven  hundred 
employed  last  night,  and  to  continue  the  same  works  by  day  being 
now  under  cover. 

"  6  September.  The  English  and  Dutch  men-of-war  sent  on 
shore  about  forty  gunners  to  assist  at  our  batteries,  and  the  Danish 
regiments  sent  several  officers  skilled  in  fireworks  to  help  our  bom- 
barding, the  batteries  for  our  mortars  being  now  ready,  as  also  a 
battery  of  sixteen  24-prs.,  besides  another  of  six.  The  General 
ordered  Colonel  Goar  to  keep  in  readiness  eight  field-pieces  and 
all  the  pontoons,  that  in  the  night  we  might  fling  a  bridge  over  the 

"  7  September.  The  mortars  and  cannon  are  now  in  battery. 
Three  hundred  men  are  ordered  to  make  a  battery  for  ten  3-prs. 
to  shoot  red-hot  bullets.  Eight  12-prs.  and  the  two  mortars  from 
the  "  Salamander  "  are  to  be  in  battery  on  Cromwell's  fort. 

"  8  September.  About  six  in  the  morning  the  General  and  Duke 
of  Wirtemberg  came  upon  the  batteries  and  ordered  the  cannon 
to  play  on  the  side  of  the  English  town  in  the  island,  to  see  if  a 
breach  could  be  made.  Towards  night  a  great  part  of  the  wall 
was  ruined,  upon  which  it  was  thought  we  should  attempt  the 
passing  into  the  island  and  attack  the  town  this  way.  But  men  of 
experience  thought  this  impracticable. 

"  9  September.  By  break  of  day  all  our  batteries  played,  and 
the  breach  on  the  wall  augmented  very  much.  We  endeavoured 
to  ruin  an  earthwork  of  the  enemie's,  on  which  were  planted  three 
pieces  of  cannon,  but  the  distance  was  so  great,  and  our  not  shooting 
in  front  with  it  could  not  hinder  their  annoying  us.  They  also 
brought  three  pieces  of  cannon  to  the  right  of  the  town  which 
flanked  the  breach  and  river.  A  kind  of  council  of  war  was  held 
about  the  passing  this  part  of  the  river  into  the  island,  which  met 
with  so  many  difficulties  that  it  is  believed  it  will  not  be  attempted, 
but  rather  keep  to  our  first  resolutions  of  cannonading  and 
bombarding  the  town,  and  after  that  pass  into  the  county  of 

"  10  September.  Our  mortars  and  cannon  continue  playing,  and 
this  last  night  were  successful  in  putting  fire  into  several  parts 
of  the  town,  but  by  four  o'clock  this  morning  they  were  put  out. 

"  II  September.  The  General  ordered  all  our  pontoons  to  be 
ready  this  night,  as  also  four  12-prs.,  2  long  6-prs.,  and  10  3-prs., 

254          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

with  fifty  rounds  each.  To  cover  this  new-designed  bridge  a  battery 
for  six  pieces  was  ordered  to  be  made  to  the  right  of  all,  looking 
to  the  causse  on  the  other  side  the  river  over  which  the  enemies 
continually  pass,  and  it  is  thought  the  battery  will  oblige  them 
to  go  about  eight  miles  round  to  have  communication  with  the 

"  12  September.  A  Danish  swimmer  was  sent  over  the  water  in 
the  night,  with  a  rope  to  measure  the  breadth  of  the  river  where 
we  design  our  bridge.  It  proved  so  rocky  that  he  could  not  haul 
the  said  rope,  from  which  we  conclude  we  have  not  enough  boats 
nor  that  our  anchors  will  hold. 

"13  September.  Captain  Van  Esp  was  sent  up  the  river  as  high 
as  Brian's  Bridge  to  find  a  narrower  place  for  our  bridge.  He 
returned  and  made  report  that  there  was  no  place  fit  for  the  same, 
they  being  all  marshy  on  the  other  side,  or  kept  by  entrenchments 
of  the  enemy. 

"  14  September.  At  eight  this  night  we  fired  all  our  cannon 
three  times  for  the  victory  obtained  against  the  Turks  on  the  Danube. 

"15  September.  Major-General  Tettau  went  to  the  right  of 
all  our  camp  to  the  river-side,  where  it  divides  itself  into  four 
streams  by  three  islands.  The  two  first  and  last  streams  were 
fordable,  the  third  not,  which  will  take  up  twenty-five  pontoons. 
The  ground  on  the  other  side  seemed  very  good  ;  a  little  lower 
down  the  river  came  the  road  from  Brian's  Bridge  to  Limerick, 
on  which  the  enemy  were  encamped  on  the  side  of  a  hill  with  the 
whole  of  their  cavalry.  Orders  came  to  have  all  again  in  readiness 
to  march  at  night,  and  the  better  to  cover  the  making  of  the  bridge, 
six  pieces  of  cannon  were  put  into  battery  to  shoot  on  the  causse 
coming  from  Limerick.  Six  12-prs.  and  six  3  prs.  were  placed  on 
a  rising  ground  to  the  left  of  the  bridge,  to  annoy  any  horse 
that  should  come  down  on  the  other  side,  and  four  3-prs.  were 
placed  at  the  beginning  of  the  bridge  to  defend  the  same.  As 
the  night  fell  the  pontoons,  etc.,  marched,  and,  although  we  had 
not  above  two  miles  to  go,  yet  the  several  accidents  that  attended 
us  caused  delay.  At  one  o'clock  past  midnight  all  our  artillery  was 
placed  as  designed. 

"  16  September.  About  six  this  morning  the  bridge  was  finished, 
and  we  began  to  pass  the  bridge  with  a  detachment  of  twenty 
men  of  a  troop  of  the  horse  and  dragoons.  Six  hundred  foot  de- 
tached followed,  backed  by  three  hundred  others,  and  a  little  time 
after  were  followed  by  two  hundred  more.  The  enemy  now  having 
the  alarm  marched  three  regiments  of  foot,  as  also  several  squadrons 
of  horse  and  dragoons.  These  latter,  with  their  foot,  they  immedi- 
ately posted  within  musket-shot  of  us  by  favour  of  some  hedges. 
We  marched  straight  to  them,  and  drove  them  from  their  advantages, 

THE    SECOND    SIEGE   OF   LIMERICK      255 

till  we  gained  a  high  ground  of  them,  and  then  they  entirely  broke. 
None  were  killed  on  our  side,  and  but  few  on  theirs.  A  gentleman 
that  came  this  night  out  of  the  town  says  all  the  inhabitants  are 
retired  from  it ;  that  there  is  not  a  whole  house  in  the  town  ;  that 
we  have  burnt  two  magazines  of  biscuit  of  above  three  thousand 
barrels,  with  a  great  magazine  of  brandy  ;  and  that  by  what  he 
could  understand  there  was  not  above  three  weeks'  more  provisions 
in  the  town  for  the  garrison. 

"  1 8  September.  The  bridge  is  ordered  to  be  removed  a  musket- 
shot  higher  up  the  river. 

"19  September.  We  worked  hard  at  this  new  bridge,  as  also 
at  a  horn-work  on  the  other  side  to  cover  the  same.  The  rest 
of  the  heavy  cannon  should  have  been  drawn  off  this  night,  and 
the  horses  were  ready  for  it ;  but  at  eight  at  night  the  General 
ordered  our  continuing  to  fire  all  night. 

"  20  September.  Early  this  morning  our  bridge  was  finished. 
The  enemies'  horse  marched  early  this  morning  towards  Six  Mile 
Bridge,  and  a  deserter  says  they  took  six  days'  bread  with  them. 
It  was  observed  that  about  a  thousand  foot  marched  with  them. 

"21  September.  The  line  of  contravallation  is  traced  anew 
nigher  the  town,  and  we  continue  to  finish  our  horn-work  that 
covers  the  bridge. 

"  22  September.  A  disposition  being  made  yesterday  for  the 
passing  the  greatest  part  of  our  horse  and  dragoons  with  about 
seventeen  regiments  of  foot  with  the  artillery  before  mentioned, 
early  this  morning  the  artillery  passed.  The  General  continued 
his  march  at  the  foot  of  the  hills  on  the  road  going  to  Six  Mile 
Bridge.  At  the  same  time  several  bodies  of  men  drew  out  of  the 
town  and  posted  themselves  in  an  old  fort  at  the  head  of  the  bridge. 
The  General  halted,  and  thought  it  best  to  attack  them  before 
they  were  too  much  increased.  Two  regiments  of  foot  and  about 
two  hundred  dragoons  were  immediately  ordered  to  perform  this 
service.  It  was  a  dispute  of  about  two  hours,  in  which  time  the 
enemies  were  very  liberal  of  their  cannon  from  their  walls  and 
small  shot ;  but  being  so  opinionatively  pressed  by  us,  they  gave 
way.  We  followed  them  to  the  bridge,  over  which  about  eighty 
got ;  but  the  garrison,  apprehending  our  entering  pell-mell  with 
them,  ordered  the  bridge  to  be  drawn  up.  Two  or  three  hundred  of 
the  Irish  took  the  water,  most  of  whom  were  drowned  ;  the  rest, 
being  about  500,  fell  a  sacrifice  to  the  fury  of  our  men  at  the  end 
of  the  bridge  and  under  the  whole  fire  of  the  town.  We  lost  in 
this  action  three  officers  and  about  two  hundred  men  killed  and 
wounded.  We  took  prisoners  one  colonel,  three  lieut. -colonels, 
nine  captains,  six  lieutenants,  and  three  ensigns,  with  about  sixty 

256          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

"  23  September.  Last  night  we  had  some  whispering  as  if  the 
town  would  parley,  which  this  morning  did  confirm,  for  Lieut.- 
General  Scravenmore  and  Major-General  Ruvigny  were  desired 
to  meet  Major-General  Sarsfield  and  another  at  the  river-side. 
They  owned  a  mutiny  in  the  town  by  the  resentment  of  the 
garrison  for  the  French  general  shutting  the  gates  and  letting 
so  many  of  them  to  be  cut  off,  and  were  for  flinging  all  the  French 
over  the  walls.  Last  night  a  lodgment  was  made  just  at  the  bridge, 
so  that  now  the  town  is  entirely  blocked  up." 

Plunkett's  version  of  the  siege  shows  no  great  discrepancy 
in  essential  facts.  The  main  portion  reads  as  follows  : — 

"  General  de  Ginkel,  in  a  few  days  after  Tyrconnell's 
death,  having  at  last  received  his  weighty  artillery  decamps 
from  Carrickinlish  and  marches  to  Limerick,  which  he 
invests  on  August  25.  At  that  juncture  the  Sieur  Donep, 
Colonel  of  Danish  horse,  was  killed  by  a  cannon-ball  from 
the  town.  General  Ginkel  having  finished  his  lines  before 
the  town,  he  plants  his  grand  battery  of  cannon  on  the 
south  side  of  the  city  and  that  of  his  mortars  on  the  east  at 
the  place  called  Ireton's  Fort.  The  first  thing  the  besiegers 
did  was  to  try  if,  with  that  great  battery  of  cannon,  they 
could  destroy  Thomond  Bridge  to  cut  off  communications 
with  the  County  Clare.  But  the  besiegers  could  not  com- 
pass their  aim  after  eight  days'  trial,  in  which  space  they 
cast  into  the  town  plenty  of  bombs  night  and  day. 

"  The  General  seeing  no  success  of  moment  hitherto,  he 
resolved  to  remove  his  main  battery  to  the  north  side  of  the 
town,  or  to  that  part  of  the  city  which  is  called  the  English 
town,  where  he  understood  the  wall  to  be  very  weak.  The 
battery  did  furiously  play  until  it  made  a  breach  of  forty 
yards  wide.  In  opposition  to  this  the  besieged  made  a  strong 
entrenchment  within  to  stand  the  attack  without  fear  of 
being  overpowered. 

"  General  Ginkel  prepares  for  his  attack.  He  gets  ready 
his  floating  bridges  in  order  to  pass  a  branch  of  the  Shannon 
before  the  breach.  But  before  attempting  the  assault  he 
thought  it  necessary  to  dismount  a  small  battery  on  his  left 
flank.  He  endeavoured  to  do  so  for  three  or  four  days,  but 

THE    SECOND    SIEGE    OF   LIMERICK     257 

could  not  prevail ;  upon  which  he  ceased  for  two  or  three 
days  from  all  kinds  of  firing,  so  that  there  was  a  general 
silence.  In  the  interim  but  few  persons  lost  their  lives.  Of 
the  besieged  there  was  killed  a  hopeful  young  gentleman,  a 
nephew  of  Monsieur  La  Tour,  the  governor,  by  a  bomb, 
being  at  that  time  in  the  same  chamber  as  his  uncle.  In 
like  manner  a  gentlewoman  (Lady  Dillon  ?)  was  slain  before 
the  door  of  her  lodging  after  coming  downstairs  to  shun  the 
bomb.  Upon  a  small  sally  or  two  there  were  lost  Captain 
Walter  Hore,  of  Harperstown,  etc. 

"  General  Ginkel  then  fixed  to  cross  the  Shannon  in  order 
to  begirt  the  town  on  the  other  side  in  hopes  to  force  it  to 
a  speedy  surrender.  On  September  16  he  gives  orders  to 
carry  floats  and  pontoons  to  the  ford  where  he  intends  to 
pass  the  river.  He  commands  six  hundred  workmen  to  lay 
the  bridge  in  that  place  and  a  hundred  grenadiers  to  cover 
them  while  those  men  are  working.  The  grenadiers  were 
brought  in  boats  into  an  island,  where  they  remained  un- 
discovered till  it  was  almost  morning.  They  were  then 
discovered  by  an  Irish  dragoon  patrolling.  He  gave  notice 
of  it  to  Brigadier  Clifford,  who  seemed  not  to  give  credit 
to  any  such  account.  The  alarm  spreading,  one  of  the 
colonels  of  dragoons,  by  name  Dudley  Colclough,  brought 
down  his  regiment  to  the  Brigadier's  tent  in  such  haste  as 
some  of  his  men  did  not  stay  to  saddle  their  horses.  The 
Brigadier  neglected  to  decide  so  long  that  the  bridge  was 
finished  and  a  great  body  of  English  came  over.  At  which 
the  Irish  guards,  seeing  themselves  too  weak  to  beat  them 
back  over  the  said  river,  took  a  sudden  resolution  to  save 
themselves  by  flight,  which  they  hardly  effected.  The 
Irish  cavalry,  under  the  command  of  their  General,  Dominic 
Sheldon,  hearing  of  this  misfortune  decamped  suddenly  and 
marched  towards  the  town  of  Ennis,  by  which  the  horse 
lost  communication  with  Limerick.  At  the  same  time  the 
Irish  Lords  Justices  and  the  ladies  and  such  as  were  with 
them  (who  had  a  camp  of  their  own  in  County  Clare)  had 
to  run  into  the  town  with  all  speed.  Here  rises  a  question 

258          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

whether  the  Irish  cavalry  should  have  come  down  and  fought 
the  enemy  that  was  come  over  ?  This  was  a  brave  occasion  for 
the  Irish  cavalry  to  show  themselves,  for  from  the  beginning 
of  the  war  to  that  day  they  were  not  brought  to  a  trial  as  to 
the  whole  body  of  them.  Here  they  would  make  recom- 
pense for  all  their  past  inaction,  though  the  fault  had  not  been 
in  the  men  but  in  the  great  officers.  But  what  Brigadier 
Clifford  can  say  for  himself  by  the  way  of  vindication  I  do 
not  understand.  I  suppose  his  comfort  is  that  he  believes 
he  will  never  be  brought  to  an  account  of  this  behaviour 
by  the  King. 

"  The  bridge  being  perfectly  finished  and  commodiously 
placed  on  the  river,  General  Ginkel  passed  over  on  Septem- 
ber 22  with  the  Duke  of  Wirtemberg  and  Lt. -General. 
Scravenmoer,  bringing  with  him  ten  regiments  of  foot, 
fourteen  small  pieces  of  cannon  and  the  bulk  of  the  horse 
and  dragoons. 

"  As  the  forces  approached  the  city  the  Governor  of 
Limerick  sent  out  a  small  detachment  of  foot  to  the  number 
of  200  men,  under  Colonel  Stapleton,  deputy  governor,  to 
skirmish.  This  was  a  foolish  management  for  what  end 
could  it  have  ?  After  fighting  awhile  Colonel  Stapleton 
was  overcharged  with  numbers  and  had  to  retire.  Some 
of  his  men  got  into  the  gate  that  was  on  Thomond  Bridge. 
He  himself  with  the  rear  was  also  hastening  thither,  but  a 
party  pursued  him  so  close  that  a  French  town-major  who 
commanded  the  gate  pretending  to  fear  that  the  enemies 
would  pour  in  with  the  Irish,  shut  the  said  gate  against 
friends  and  foes,  by  which  it  happened  that  Colonel 
Stapleton,  Major  Purcell,  some  inferior  officers  with 
about  eighty  private  soldiers  were  killed  on  the 

There  is  a  discrepancy  in  the  figures,  but  the  whole 
narrative  is  very  much  in  accord  with  that  of  Colonel 
Richards.  In  one  of  the  French  reports  Colonel  La  Tour 
admits  that  the  gate  on  the  drawbridge  was  shut  too 
precipitately.  But  the  fatal  blow  to  the  defence  was  the 

THE    SECOND    SIEGE    OF    LIMERICK     259 

treachery  of  Colonel  Clifford  in  not  holding  the  pass  over 
the  river. 

Although  the  Irish  had  not  lost  more  than  600  or  700 
men  during  the  siege,  the  general  feeling  among  them  after 
Tyrconnell's  death  was  to  come  to  terms  with  the  enemy 
and  terminate  the  war.  All  the  Irish  leaders  held  this 
view,  and  men  like  Sarsfield  and  Wauchope  considered  that 
better  terms  would  have  been  obtained  by  an  earlier 
surrender.  The  oath  taken  to  Tyrconnell  stood  in  the  path 
of  direct  overtures  to  the  enemy,  but  there  are  ways  known 
to  casuists  of  evading  a  promise  the  literal  fulfilment  of 
which  has  become  inconvenient.  The  first  step  taken  was 
to  shake  the  public  faith  in  Tyrconnell  by  publishing  and 
distributing  the  text  of  what  purported  to  be  the  Duke's 
will,  in  which  it  was  stated  that  he  (Tyrconnell)  knew 
"  that  the  King  of  France  would  send  no  more  help,  and 
that  therefore  the  Irish  had  no  alternative  to  making  the 
best  terms  they  could  with  the  Prince  of  Orange." 

The  French  officers  were  all  for  resisting  to  the  bitter 
end,  and  had  no  difficulty  in  showing  that  the  place  could 
hold  out  for  a  long  period.  They  also  declared  that  assis- 
tance was  certain  to  arrive  before  long  from  France,  and 
that  as  soon  as  a  French  fleet  had  cleared  the  river  the  chief 
peril  to  the  place  would  be  removed  ;  but  they  could  give 
no  positive  answer  to  the  question,  "  Are  French  troops 
coming  ?  "  In  their  hearts  they  must  have  known,  too,  that 
they  were  not. 

But  what  the  Irish  leaders  asked  was  what  would  be  their 
fate  if  no  help  after  all  did  come  from  France  ?  To  hold  out 
vainly  meant  absolute  surrender,  perhaps  without  quarter 
in  the  end  ;  to  come  to  terms  now  signified  honourable 
conditions  with  probably  leave  to  seek  a  new  career  in  France. 
The  Irish  view  was  indeed  more  reasonable  than  that  of 
the  French  officers,  who,  moreover,  had  been  only  a  few 
months  in  the  country.  Three  years  had  the  Irish  been 
fighting  for  a  shadowy  cause,  and  now  they  were  driven 
into  a  corner  with  no  prospect  of  succour  save  the  vague 

26o          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

and  uncertain  promises  of  the  French  King.  They,  at  least, 
were  entitled  to  have  the  final  word  in  deciding  what  course 
they  should  pursue  in  this  supreme  crisis  of  their  fate.  It 
was  not  that  they  were  irresolute,  as  the  French  officers 
thought,  when  they  proposed  to  give  up  a  town  which  in 
the  strictly  military  sense  was  in  no  danger  of  falling  at  the 
moment,  but  that  they  had  braced  themselves  to  face  the 
fate  most  appalling  to  the  human  mind,  to  go  forth 
into  a  foreign  land  as  exiles,  where  the  language  was 
unknown,  and  leave  for  ever  the  country  of  their  birth. 

There  was  one  obstacle,  the  oath  exacted  by  Tyrconnell. 

In  this  dilemma  the  only  course  open  to  those  who  had 
taken  it  was  to  apply  to  the  representatives  of  the  Church 
which  had  been  a  party  to  the  contract.  The  view  of  the 
Bishops  and  other  dignitaries  of  the  Church  in  Limerick 
was  as  follows,  to  use  the  words  of  King  James  himself  : — 

"  That  being  blocked  up  on  all  sides  it  was  impossible  to 
hear  from  the  King  should  any  answer  come,  which,  being  the 
thing  their  oath  obliged  them  to,  there  was  no  possibility  of 
keeping  to  the  letter  of  it ;  but  that  the  King's  permission 
to  treat,  considering  the  extream  want  they  were  in,  might 
reasonably  be  presumed,  since  it  could  not  be  known."  In 
plain  English  the  Irish  were  relieved  of  the  oath  they  had 
taken  only  a  few  weeks  before  to  hold  out  till  the  spring,  and 
at  once  made  overtures  to  capitulate  to  General  Ginkel  on 
honourable  terms. 

We  shall  deal  with  the  conditions  of  the  Limerick  Con- 
vention in  the  next  chapter  ;  but  on  October  4  a  suspen- 
sion of  arms  was  arranged.  A  fortnight  later  there  sailed 
up  the  Shannon  a  fine  French  fleet  under  Chateau  Renaud, 
before  which  the  English  fleet  scattered  and  fled,  losing  two 
frigates  in  the  operation.  On  board  the  fleet  was  the 
largest  quantity  of  stores  and  supplies  that  Louis  ever  sent 
to  Ireland,  including  30,000  stand  of  arms.  The  capitula- 
tion rendered  the  succours  useless  and  Renaud  restored  the 
two  frigates  captured,  not  to  compromise  the  situation. 

The  whole  incident  of  the  broken  oath  because  no  aid 


could  be  expected,  and  the  arrival  of  adequate  aid  im- 
mediately after  the  formal  repudiation  of  that  oath, 
furnishes  fruit  for  reflection.  At  the  very  moment  that 
Louis  had  braced  himself  up  to  the  task  of  making  a  real 
effort  in  Ireland  in  support  of  James,  for  Chateau  Renaud's 
fleet  was  intended  to  be  the  precursor  of  a  fresh  land 
expedition,  the  Irish  lost  heart  and  threw  up  the  game. 
The  only  fighting  force  left  in  the  country  had  agreed  to 
surrender  the  last  foothold  it  possessed  in  the  island. 

To  Louis  the  disappointment  was  intense,  for  he  had 
personally  directed  all  the  arrangements  himself  for  the 
Chateau  Renaud  expedition  and  the  despatch  of  a  fresh 
army.  A  few  months  earlier  (July,  1691)  the  great  states- 
man Louvois  had  died,  leaving  Louis  to  be  his  own  Minister, 
for  his  successors  were  mere  officials  or  courtiers.  Clever 
and  capable  as  Louvois  was,  he  was  no  admirer  of  James, 
and  he  had  not  much  faith  in  the  Irish  adventure.  His 
support  had  never  been  lavish  or  even  adequate.  The 
French  Court  testified  its  sense  of  his  worth  in  the  following 
quatrain  : — 

"  Ici  git,  sous  qui  tout  pliait 
Et  qui  de  tout  avait  connaissance  parfaite, 
Louvois,  que  personne  n'aimait 
Et  que  tout  le  monde  regrette." 

When  James  condoled  with  Louis  on  the  loss  of  his 
Minister,  Louis  replied  :  "  Tell  the  King  of  England  that 
I  have  lost  a  good  Minister,  but  that  his  affairs  and  mine 
will  not  go  the  worse  for  that."  Chateau  Renaud's  ex- 
pedition was  the  result  of  Louis's  personal  intervention, 
and  he  felt  its  abortive  ending  all  the  more  as  a  rebuff.  In 
the  first  heat  of  his  resentment  and  disappointment  Louis 
was  disposed  to  punish  his  own  officers,  D'Usson,  Tesse  and 
La  Tour,  for  surrendering  a  place  entrusted  to  their  charge 
without  need.  But  the  examination  not  merely  of  their 
reports  after  the  surrender,  but  of  their  correspondence 
before  it,  showed  conclusively  that  they  had  been  no  parties 
to  the  tame  conclusion.  They  opposed  coming  to  terms, 

262          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

and  declared  it  to  be  unnecessary — even  parting  with  their 
own  private  money  to  distribute  it  among  the  soldiers  to 
keep  them  in  good  heart.  Nor  does  it  appear  from  their 
reports  that  there  was  any  unwillingness  among  the  private 
soldiers  to  go  on  fighting. 

But  among  the  officers  there  was  general  discouragement, 
and  no  one  was  sanguine  enough  to  think  that  even  if 
Limerick  could  be  held  the  rest  of  Ireland  could  be  re- 
covered. The  stage  of  exhaustion  had  been  reached,  and 
as  William's  policy  had  always  been  not  to  drive  brave  men 
to  desperation,  the  terms  he  offered  through  his  general, 
Ginkel,  were  fair  and  indulgent.  Both  sides  being  prepared 
to  end  the  war  it  followed  that  even  the  arrival  of  the 
French  fleet  did  not  incline  the  Irish  to  change  their  minds. 
Relief  was  displayed  at  the  conclusion  of  a  long  and,  so  far 
as  Ireland  was  concerned,  useless  struggle.  The  Irish 
leaders  were  contemplating  a  new  and  more  promising  career 
in  the  service  of  France,  and  William,  anxious  above  every- 
thing to  get  his  own  troops  out  of  Ireland,  was  not  indis- 
posed to  concur  in  and  assist  the  departure  of  the  bulk  of  the 
fighting-men  who  had  kept  them  well  employed  during  three 

Chapter  XI 



responsible  authorities  in  Limerick  having 
decided  on  a  capitulation,  the  arrangement  of  the 
preliminaries  was  taken  in  hand.  The  news  was 
sent  to  the  cavalry  leaders,  who  on  October  5 
rode  over  to  Ginkel's  camp  and  then  passed  through  to 
Limerick.  Ginkel  entertained  them  to  dinner,  and  among 
his  guests  were  the  Archbishop  of  Cashell  (Catholic  Primate), 
the  Earl  of  Westmeath,  Lords  Dillon  and  Galmoye,  General 
Sheldon,  and  others.  The  next  day  Sarsfield,  Wauchope, 
and  two  brigadiers  visited  Ginkel,  the  general  terms  were 
agreed  to,  and  hostages  given  on  either  side.  Those  for  the 
besieged  were  Lords  Westmeath,  Iveagh,  Louth,  and 
Trimlestown.  Those  for  the  Anglo-Dutch  force  were 
Lord  Cutts,  Sir  David  Collier,  Colonel  Tiffin,  and  Colonel 
Piper.  The  social  position  and  reputation  of  the  hostages 
were  in  themselves  proof  that  the  negotiations  were  taken 
up  in  a  serious  spirit  and  with  a  desire  to  carry  them  through. 
It  is  correct  to  say  with  Plunkett  that  the  terms  for  the 
surrender  of  Limerick  involved  a  very  much  larger  question 
than  the  capitulation  of  a  town.  The  Irish  leaders  were 
negotiating  for  a  definite  peace  on  behalf  of  the  Catholic 
inhabitants  of  Ireland,  and  for  the  drafting  of  a  convention 
that  should  uphold  their  rights  in  religion,  property,  and 
personal  freedom.  The  following  persons  acted  as  the 
Commissioners  for  the  Irish  party,  namely,  Sarsfield,  Earl  of 
Lucan,  Lord  Galmoye,  Colonel  Nicholas  Purcell,  Colonel 
Nicholas  Cusack,  Sir  Toby  Butler,  Colonel  Garrett  Dillon, 
and  Colonel  John  Browne.  They  opened  discussions  with  a 


264          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

request  which  Ginkel  at  once  refused.  They  asked  that 
the  Catholic  owners  in  Leinster,  who  had  been  dispossessed 
of  their  estates  by  William  in  1690,  after  the  Boyne,  should 
be  reinstated.  Ginkel  declared  that  he  had  no  power  to 
reverse  what  his  Sovereign  had  done,  and  his  reply  was  en- 
dorsed by  William's  two  regents,  Sir  Charles  Porter  and  Mr. 
Coningsby,  who  arrived  a  few  days  later  from  Dublin  to 
take  part  in  the  discussions. 

General  Ginkel  acted  as  his  own  commissioner,  but  he 
called  in  to  aid  him  all  his  officers  of  and  above  the  grade  of 
Brigadier-General.  The  principal  discussion  took  place  on 
October  8 ;  much  of  the  argument  was  rather  heated,  but 
finally  it  ended  in  a  general  agreement  on  all  the  essential 
points.  Certain  of  these  were  reserved  for  final  settlement 
after  the  arrival  of  the  Regents  on  October  1 1 .  On  the  1 2th 
complete  agreement  was  attained,  and  the  Treaty  was  signed 
and  exchanged  the  following  day  (October  13,  N.S., 
October  3,  O.S.,  1691). 

The  Treaty  was  divided  into  two  separate  sections,  the 
Civil  Articles  numbering  thirteen  and  the  Military  Articles 
numbering  twenty-nine.  The  Civil  Articles  were  those 
affecting  the  Catholic  people  of  Ireland,  and  might  be 
termed  the  Treaty.  The  Military  Articles  were  those 
relating  to  the  surrender  of  the  troops  in  arms  and  their 
free  conveyance  to  France.  The  importance  of  the  former 
arrangement  was  permanent ;  of  the  latter  transitory,  expir- 
ing with  the  accomplishment  of  the  conditions.  It  will  clear 
the  ground  in  a  matter  that  has  been  the  cause  of  bitter  con- 
troversy to  say  at  once  that  the  Military  Articles  were  faith- 
fully and  scrupulously  carried  out.  We  shall  deal  with  the 
subsequent  breaches  of  the  Civil  Articles  a  little  further  on, 
but  in  regard  to  them  it  is  only  just  to  say  that  Ginkel,  who 
was  an  honourable  man  as  well  as  an  excellent  general,  had 
no  share  or  part  in  the  deviations  from  the  text,  which  did 
not,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  occur  till  some  time  afterwards. 

For  this  reason  a  summary  of  the  Military  Articles  will  be 
sufficient  for  all  practical  purposes.  The  first  condition  was 


that  all  persons,  without  any  exception,  were  to  be  free 
to  leave  Ireland  for  any  country  beyond  the  seas  excepting 
England  and  Scotland,  and  that  they  might  take  with  them 
"  their  families,  household  stuff,  plate  and  jewels."  General 
Ginkel  also  undertook  to  provide  at  Cork  fifty  ships  of  200 
tons  burthen  each  for  their  conveyance,  and  if  that  number 
was  insufficient  twenty  more  ships  besides  two  men-of-war 
to  embark  the  principal  officers  and  serve  as  a  convoy. 
General  D'Usson  entered  into  a  personal  bond  for  the  safe 
restitution  of  these  ships  after  they  had  discharged  their 
passengers,  promising  to  return  and  constitute  himself  a 
prisoner  if  the  French  authorities  attempted  to  detain 
them.  The  troops  and  civilians  taking  their  departure 
were  also  to  have  leave  to  embark  on  any  French  ships,  and 
no  doubt  this  clause  was  added  in  consequence  of  the  ex- 
pected arrival  of  Chateau  Renaud's  squadron  in  the 

The  right  to  quit  the  country  was  extended  to  all 
garrisons,  including  the  force  at  Sligo,  which  had  sur- 
rendered shortly  before  Limerick.  It  was  also  stipulated 
that  900  horses,  including  those  belonging  to  officers, 
might  be  taken  out  of  the  country.  Finally,  all  the  Irish 
troops  on  leaving  to  join  the  ships  at  Cork  or  the  other 
ports  of  departure  appointed  were  to  march  out  of  Limerick 
with  all  the  honours  of  war,  "  with  their  baggage,  their 
arms,  drums  beating,  ball  in  mouth,  match  lighted  at  both 
ends  and  colours  flying." 

The  only  difficulty  that  arose  in  connection  with  the 
fulfilment  of  these  articles  was  about  the  departure  of  the 
women  and  children  belonging  to  the  soldiers.  Count 
Nassau  seemed  to  think  that  shipping  had  only  to  be  pro- 
vided for  the  men,  but  on  Lord  Lucan's  writing  a  letter  of 
protest  to  General  Ginkel  the  difficulty  was  promptly 
removed.  The  misunderstanding  arose  from  the  copying 
clerk's  mistake  in  omitting  from  the  final  draft  of  Article  2 
the  words,  "  and  all  such  as  are  under  their  protection  in 
those  counties."  The  best  proof  that  all  the  conditions 

266          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

were  faithfully  fulfilled  is  furnished  in  the  following  letter 
of  release  sent  by  Lord  Lucan  to  General  Ginkel  in  Decem- 
ber : — 

"  Whereas  by  the  articles  of  Limerick,  Lieut.-General  Ginkel, 
Commander-in-Chief  of  the  English  army,  did  engage  himself 
to  furnish  ten  thousand  ton  of  shipping  for  the  transporting  of 
such  of  the  Irish  forces  to  France  as  were  willing  to  go  thither, 
and  to  facilitate  their  passage  to  add  four  thousand  ton  more, 
in  case  the  French  fleet  did  not  come  to  this  kingdom  to  take  off 
part  of  those  forces ;  and  whereas  the  French  fleet  has  been  on 
these  coasts  and  carried  away  some  of  the  said  forces,  and  the 
Lieutenant-General  has  provided  ships  for  as  many  of  the  rest 
as  are  willing  to  go  as  aforesaid  :  I  do  hereby  declare  that  the  said 
Lieutenant-General  is  released  from  any  obligation  he  lay  under 
from  the  said  articles  to  provide  vessels  for  that  purpose,  and  do 
quit  and  renounce  all  further  claim  and  pretension  on  this  account, 
as  witness  my  hand  this  8th  day  of  December,  1691. 

"  LUCAN." 
Witness,  MARK  TALBOT. 

While  leave  was  given  to  the  men  of  the  Irish  army  to 
leave  their  country,  Ginkel  made  an  effort  to  induce  some  of 
them  to  take  service  in  the  Williamite  forces.  A  bounty  and 
good  pay  were  offered  as  inducement,  and  several  thousands 
succumbed  to  the  temptation.  Indeed,  it  was  the  only 
alternative  to  going  into  exile  or  staying  at  home  to  starve, 
for  there  was  neither  food  nor  work  left  in  Ireland  out  of 
Ulster,  and  Ulster  was  banned  to  the  men  of  Munster  and 
Connaught.  But  it  will  be  seen  that  the  bulk  of  these 
seceders  deserted  in  France  and  Spain,  and  eventually  the 
English  Government  refused  to  employ  Irishmen  in  the 
army  at  all.  However,  in  the  two  months  of  November  and 
December,  1691,  about  5000  Irish  troops,  under  the 
influence  of  Henry  Luttrell,  Nicholas  Purcell,  and  Robert 
Clifford,  enlisted  in  Ginkel's  army,  and  on  the  other  hand 
about  13,000  decided  to  go  to  France.  We  shall  deal  more 
specifically  with  the  latter  in  the  next  chapter,  but  with 
regard  to  the  former  it  may  be  stated,  before  passing  on, 
that  one  of  the  plans  favoured  by  William  was  to  employ 
them  not  in  his  own  but  in  the  Emperor's  service,  and  thus 


utilise  them  on  the  Continent  as  a  kind  of  set-off  to  their 
compatriots  in  France.  But  this  scheme  was  not  very 
successful,  and  although  one  whole  regiment,  under  Lord 
Iveagh,  was  shipped  to  Hamburg  and  reached  Hungary 
with  the  view  of  being  employed  against  the  Turks,  its 
fate  was  not  calculated  to  encourage  others  to  follow,  for 
practically  speaking  the  whole  of  them,  including  Lord 
Iveagh,  died  of  the  plague. 

Besides  the  soldiers  who  took  service  under  William,  a 
large  number  of  those  who  had  estates  agreed  to  stay.  The 
recovery  of  their  estates,  the  promise  that  they  would  be 
left  undisturbed  in  their  rights  and  privileges,  and  the  light- 
ness of  the  oath  required  (one  of  allegiance  only)  all  con- 
tributed to  make  the  decision  easier.  As  a  general  principle 
it  may  be  laid  down  that  all  those  who  had  estates  and  who 
were  not  keen  soldiers  elected  to  remain  in  Ireland.  On  the 
other  hand,  soldiers  like  Lords  Lucan,  Galmoye,  Kilmal- 
lock,  Trimlestown,  and  Bellew  went  to  France.  It  is  also 
noteworthy  that  the  more  important  of  the  prisoners  taken 
at  Aughrim  and  Cork,  like  Lords  Kenmare,  Clancarty,  and 
Tyrone,  decided  to  sacrifice  their  estates  for  their  principles. 
Strict  good  faith  was  not  observed  towards  these  prisoners 
who  should  have  been  released  when  the  Treaty  was 
ratified  in  March,  1692.  Lord  Clancarty,  for  instance,  was 
kept  in  the  Tower  till  1694,  and  then  only  escaped  by  the 
aid  of  his  father-in-law,  Sunderland.  James's  civil  advisers, 
Fitton,  Lord  Gosworth,  Sir  Richard  Nagle,  and  Mr.  Plowden, 
went  to  France.  William  Talbot,  the  Duke's  nephew,  who 
had  succeeded  his  uncle  in  the  earldom  of  Tyrconnell,  also 
left  the  country,  taking  with  him  his  son  Lord  Baltinglass, 
who  eventually  married  in  1702  the  Duke's  only  daughter 
and  child  Lady  Charlotte  Talbot.  Some  of  the  higher 
dignitaries  of  the  Church  of  Rome,  like  the  Archbishop  of 
Cashell  (John  Brenan),  also  went  to  France. 

As  the  details  of  the  embarcation  of  the  Irish  volunteers 
for  France  belong  most  appropriately  to  the  next  chapter, 
we  may  now  take  up  the  consideration  of  the  Civil  Articles, 

268          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

and  point  out  briefly  and  temperately  where  they  were 
broken  or  departed  from,  and  thus  show  what  and  how 
great  was  the  breach  of  faith.  It  is  necessary,  in  the  first 
place,  to  give  the  text  of  the  Treaty,  so  that  each  reader  may 
be  able  to  judge  the  matter  for  himself,  although  much  of 
the  text  is  irrelevant,  and  the  space  allotted  to  the  affairs  of 
Colonel  John  Browne  reveals  the  complete  absence  of  any 
sense  of  proportion  : — 


Article  I 

The  Roman  Catholics  of  this  Kingdom  shall  enjoy  such  privi- 
leges in  the  exercise  of  their  religion  as  are  consistent  with  the  laws 
of  Ireland,  and  as  they  did  enjoy  in  the  reign  of  King  Charles  II, 
and  their  Majesties  as  soon  as  their  affairs  will  permit  them  to 
summon  a  Parliament  in  this  Kingdom  will  endeavour  to  procure 
the  said  Roman  Catholics  such  farther  security  in  that  particular, 
as  may  preserve  them  from  any  disturbance  upon  the  account  of 
their  said  religion. 

Article  2 

All  the  inhabitants  or  residents  of  Limerick  or  any  other  garrison 
now  in  the  possession  of  the  Irish  and  all  officers  and  soldiers  now 
in  arms  under  any  commission  of  King  James  or  those  authorized 
by  him  to  grant  the  same  in  the  several  counties  of  Limerick,  Clare, 
Kerry,  Cork,  and  Mayo,  or  any  of  them  (omitted  words  subse- 
quently restored  by  Act  of  Parliament,  "  and  all  such  as  are  under 
their  protection  in  those  counties  ")  ;  and  all  the  commissioned 
officers  in  their  Majesties'  quarters  that  belong  to  the  Irish  regi- 
ments now  in  being  that  are  treated  with,  and  who  are  not  prisoners 
of  war,  or  have  taken  protection,  and  who  shall  return  and  submit 
to  their  Majesties'  obedience,  and  their  and  every  of  their  heirs 
shall  hold,  possess,  and  enjoy  all  and  every  their  estates  of  freehold 
and  inheritance,  and  all  the  rights,  titles,  and  interests,  privileges 
and  immunities,  which  they  and  every  or  any  of  them  held,  en- 
joyed, or  were  rightfully  and  lawfully  entitled  to  in  the  reign  of 
King  Charles  II  or  at  any  time  since  by  the  laws  and  statutes 
that  were  in  force  in  the  said  reign  of  King  Charles  II,  and  shall 
be  put  in  possession,  by  order  of  the  Government,  of  such  of  them 
as  are  in  the  King's  hands  or  the  hands  of  his  tenants  without 
being  put  to  any  suit  or  trouble  therein  ;  and  all  such  estates  shall 
be  freed  and  discharged  from  all  arrears  of  crown  rents,  quit  rents, 
and  other  public  charges  incurred  and  become  due  since  Michaelmas, 
1688,  to  the  day  of  the  date  hereof  ;  and  all  persons  comprehended 

THE    CONVENTION    OF    LIMERICK       269 

in  this  article  shall  have,  hold  and  enjoy  all  their  goods  and  chattels, 
real  and  personal,  to  them  or  any  of  them  belonging  or  remaining 
either  in  their  own  hands  or  the  hands  of  any  persons  whatsoever, 
in  trust  for  or  for  the  use  of  them  or  any  of  them  ;  and  all  and  every 
the  said  persons  of  what  profession,  trade  or  calling  soever  they  be, 
shall  and  may  use,  exercise,  and  practise  their  several  and  respective 
professions,  trades  and  callings  as  freely  as  they  did  use,  exercise, 
and  enjoy  the  same  in  the  reign  of  King  Charles  II  provided  that 
nothing  in  this  article  contained  be  construed  to  extend  to  or  restore 
any  forfeiting  person  now  out  of  the  kingdom  except  what  are 
hereafter  comprised ;  provided  also  that  no  person  whatsoever 
shall  have  or  enjoy  the  benefit  of  this  article  that  shall  neglect 
or  refuse  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  made  by  Act  of  Parliament 
in  England  in  the  first  year  of  the  reign  of  their  present  Majesties, 
when  thereunto  required. 

Article  3 

All  merchants  or  reputed  merchants  of  the  City  of  Limerick 
or  of  any  other  garrison  now  possessed  by  the  Irish  or  of  any  town 
or  place  in  the  counties  of  Clare  or  Kerry  who  are  absent  beyond 
the  seas,  that  have  not  borne  arms  since  their  Majesties'  declaration 
in  February,  1689,  shall  have  the  benefit  of  the  second  article 
in  the  same  manner  as  if  they  were  present,  provided  such  merchants 
and  reputed  merchants  do  repair  into  this  kingdom  within  the 
space  of  eight  months  from  the  date  hereof. 

Article  4 

The  following  officers,  viz.  :  Colonel  Simon  Luttrell,  Captain 
Rowland  White,  Maurice  Eustace  of  Yeomanstown,  Chilvers  of 
Maystown,  commonly  called  Mount  Leinster,  now  belonging  to 
the  regiments  in  the  aforesaid  garrisons  and  quarters  of  the  Irish 
army  who  were  beyond  the  seas  and  sent  thither  upon  affairs 
of  their  respective  regiments  or  the  army  in  general  shall  have 
the  benefit  and  advantage  of  the  second  article,  provided  they 
return  hither  within  the  space  of  eight  months  from  the  date  of 
these  presents  and  submit  to  their  Majesties'  Government  and 
take  the  above-mentioned  oath. 

Article  5 

That  all  and  singular  the  said  persons  comprized  in  the  second 
and  third  articles  shall  have  a  general  pardon  of  all  attainders, 
outlawries,  treasons,  misprisions  of  treasons,  premunires,  felonies, 
trespasses,  and  other  crimes  and  misdemeanours  whatsoever  by 
them  or  any  of  them  committed  since  the  beginning  of  the  reign 
of  King  James  II ;  and  if  any  of  them  are  attainted  by  Parliament 
the  Lords  Justices  and  General  will  use  their  best  endeavours  to 

270          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

get  the  same  repealed  by  Parliament,  and  the  outlawries  to  be  re- 
versed gratis,  all  but  writing  clerks'  fees. 

Article  6 

And  whereas  these  present  wars  have  drawn  on  great  violences 
on  both  parts,  and  that  if  leave  were  given  to  the  bringing  all  sorts  of 
private  actions  the  animosities  would  probably  continue  that  have 
been  too  long  on  foot  and  the  public  disturbances  last ;  for  the  quiet- 
ing and  settling  therefore  of  this  kingdom,  and  avoiding  those  in- 
conveniences which  would  be  the  necessary  consequence  of  the 
contrary,  no  person  or  persons  whatsoever  comprised  in  the  foregoing 
articles  shall  be  sued,  molested  or  impleaded  at  the  suit  of  any 
party  or  parties  whatsoever  for  any  trespasses  by  them  committed, 
or  for  any  arms,  horses,  money,  goods,  chattels,  merchandizes, 
provisions  whatsoever  by  them  seized  or  taken  during  the  time 
of  war.  And  no  person  or  persons  whatsoever  in  the  second  or 
third  articles  comprised  shall  be  sued,  impleaded  or  made  account- 
able for  the  rents  or  mean  rates  of  any  lands,  tenements,  or  houses 
by  him  or  them  received  or  enjoyed  in  this  kingdom  since  the 
beginning  of  the  present  war  to  the  day  of  the  date  hereof,  nor  for 
any  waste  or  trespass  by  him  or  them  committed  in  any  such  lands, 
tenements  or  houses,  and  it  is  also  agreed  that  this  article  shall  be 
mutual  and  reciprocal  on  both  sides. 

Article  7 

Every  nobleman  and  gentleman  comprised  in  the  said  second 
and  third  articles  shall  have  liberty  to  ride  with  a  sword  and  a  case 
of  pistols  if  they  think  fit  and  keep  a  gun  in  their  houses  for  the 
defence  of  the  same  or  for  fowling. 

Article  8 

The  inhabitants  and  residents  in  the  city  of  Limerick  and  other 
garrisons  shall  be  permitted  to  remove  their  goods,  chattels,  and 
provisions  out  of  the  same  without  being  viewed  and  searched  or 
paying  any  manner  of  duties,  and  shall  not  be  compelled  to  leave 
houses  or  lodgings  they  now  have  for  the  space  of  six  weeks  next 
ensuing  the  date  hereof. 

Article  9 

The  oath  to  be  administered  to  such  Roman  Catholics  as  submit 
to  their  Majesties'  Government  shall  be  the  oath  above-said  and  no 

Article  10 

No  person  or  persons  who  shall  at  any  time  hereafter  break  these 
articles  or  any  of  them  shall  thereby  make  or  cause  any  other  person 
or  persons  to  forfeit  or  lose  the  benefit  of  the  same. 


Article  1 1 

The  Lords  Justices  and  General  do  promise  to  use  their  utmost 
endeavours  that  all  the  persons  comprehended  in  the  above- 
mentioned  articles  shall  be  protected  and  defended  from  all  arrests 
and  executions  for  debt  or  damage  for  the  space  of  eight  months 
next  ensuing  the  date  hereof. 

Article  12 

Lastly  the  Lords  Justices  and  General  do  undertake  that  their 
Majesties  will  ratify  these  articles  within  the  space  of  eight  months 
or  sooner,  and  use  their  utmost  endeavours  that  the  same  shall  be 
ratified  and  confirmed  in  Parliament. 

Article  13 

And  whereas  Colonel  John  Brown  stood  indebted  to  several 
Protestants  by  judgments  of  record,  which  appearing  to  the  late 
Government,  the  Lord  Tyrconnell  and  the  Lord  Lucan  took 
away  the  effects,  the  said  John  Brown  had  to  answer  the  said  debts 
and  promised  to  clear  the  said  John  Brown  of  the  said  debts,  which 
effects  were  taken  for  the  public  use  of  the  Irish  and  their  army ; 
for  freeing  the  said  Lord  Lucan  of  his  said  engagement,  past  on 
their  public  account  for  payment  of  the  said  Protestants,  and 
for  preventing  the  ruin  of  the  said  John  Brown  and  for  satisfaction 
of  his  creditors  at  the  instance  of  the  Lord  Lucan  and  the  rest 
of  the  persons  aforesaid,  it  is  agreed  that  the  said  Lords  Justices 
and  the  said  Baron  de  Ginkel  shall  intercede  with  the  King  and 
Parliament  to  have  the  estates  secured  to  Roman  Catholics  by 
articles  and  capitulation  in  this  kingdom  charged  with  and  equally 
liable  to  the  payment  of  so  much  of  the  said  debts  as  the  said  Lord 
Lucan,  upon  stating  accounts  with  the  said  John  Brown,  shall 
certify  under  his  hand  that  the  effects  taken  from  the  said  Brown 
amount  unto  ;  which  account  is  to  be  stated,  and  the  balance  certi- 
fied by  the  said  Lord  Lucan  in  one-and-twenty  days  after  the  date 

For  the  true  performance  hereof  we  have  hereunto  set  our  hands  : 
Charles  Porter,  Thomas  Coningsby,  Baron  de  Ginkel,  Present, 
Scravenmore,  H.  Mackay,  T.  Talmach. 

The  Articles  of  this  Treaty  which  were  broken  or 
materially  deviated  from  are  those  numbered  I,  2,  5,  7 
and  9.  It  is  unnecessary  to  refer  to  the  eight  others. 
Of  all  these  articles  the  language  is  clear  and  unam- 
biguous with  the  exception  of  Article  2,  which  is  in- 
volved, cumbrous,  and  bristling  with  qualifications  and 
provisos.  The  Jacobite  Commissioners,  of  whom  Sir 



272          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

Toby  Butler  seems  to  have  taken  the  leading  part  in  the 
drafting,  were  not  very  successful  in  putting  into  clear 
English  the  exact  rights  conceded  by  that  article,  and  the 
exact  classes  of  the  Irish  community  which  were  to  benefit 
by  them.  The  exclusion  from  its  benefits  of  those  who 
were  "  prisoners  of  war,"  or  "  who  have  taken  protection  " 
was  a  flagrant  error,  and  opened  the  door  for  subsequent 
exclusions  and  a  general  whittling  away  of  the  benefits 

We  may  now  take  the  points  seriatim.  With  regard  to 
Article  I  its  purport  relates  to  the  religion  of  the  mass  of 
the  Irish  people,  which  in  the  seventeenth  as  in  the  twen- 
tieth century  was  and  is  that  of  the  Church  of  Rome.  This 
article  pledged  the  English  Government  to  allow  "  the 
Roman  Catholics  of  this  Kingdom "  to  "  enjoy  such 
privileges  in  the  exercise  of  their  religion  as  are  consistent 
with  the  laws  of  Ireland,  or  as  they  did  enjoy  in  the  reign 
of  King  Charles  the  Second."  The  qualification,  "  as  are 
consistent  with  the  laws  of  Ireland,"  was  a  perilous  term  to 
introduce,  for  it  subjected  the  privilege  to  the  risk  of 
hindrance  or  curtailment  by  future  legislation,  and  the 
danger  was  only  partially  obviated  by  the  addition  of  the 
promise  on  behalf  of  King  William  and  Queen  Mary  to 
"  summon  a  parliament  in  this  kingdom,"  and  "  endeavour 
to  procure  the  said  Roman  Catholics  such  further  security  in 
that  particular  as  may  preserve  them  from  any  disturbance 
upon  the  account  of  their  said  religion." 

The  first  article,  then,  ensured  for  the  Roman  Catholics 
what  was  supposed  to  be  complete  liberty  for  the  exercise  of 
their  religion.  They  were  to  revert  to  the  position  in  1688, 
before  the  outbreak  of  the  war.  Complete  liberty  in  the 
exercise  of  one's  religion  naturally  carries  with  it  the 
maintenance  of  the  hierarchy  of  the  Church  to  which  one 
belongs.  Religious  liberty  cannot  be  said  to  be  perfect 
because  laymen  can  go  to  Church,  if  the  bishops  and  clergy  of 
that  Church  are  at  the  same  time  driven  out  of  the  country. 

One  of  the  points  raised  by  those  who  deny  that  the 


Articles  of  Limerick  were  violated  is  as  to  the  ratification 
of  the  Treaty,  which  by  Article  1 2  was  to  be  done  within  the 
space  of  eight  months.  One  writer  in  1825  went  so  far  as  to 
declare  that  the  Treaty  was  "  never  ratified."  It  is  only 
necessary  to  state  that  William  and  Mary  ratified  it  on 
April  5,  1692,  and  the  ratification  is  noteworthy  because  the 
introduction  of  the  following  sentence  ("  as  words  casually 
omitted  by  the  writer  "),  "  and  all  such  as  are  under  their 
protection  in  the  said  counties  "  was  sanctioned  by  sign 
manual.  In  April  nothing  whatever  had  happened  to  ruffle 
William's  temper  about  the  Irish,  or  to  make  him  think 
that  his  position  was  threatened  by  the  Irishmen  who  had 
been  in  Limerick.  But  during  the  following  summer  the 
Irish  army  was  assembled  in  Normandy  for  the  invasion  of 
England,  and  the  greatest  peril  that  had  ever  confronted 
him  was  only  averted  by  the  fortunate  naval  victory  off 
Cape  La  Hogue.  At  Steinkerk,  two  months  later,  he  saw 
the  Irish  contingent  opposed  to  him. 

When  his  first  Irish  Parliament  assembled  in  the  autumn 
of  1692,  William  was  less  anxious  for  these  reasons  to  abide 
by  the  terms  of  the  Treaty,  and  more  disposed  to  leave  his 
Irish  legislature  a  free  hand  in  establishing  Protestant 
ascendancy.  The  Dublin  Parliament  knew  very  well  what 
to  do.  The  Articles  of  the  Treaty  had  necessarily  to  be 
incorporated  in  the  Statute  Book  to  make  them  the  valid 
law  of  the  land.  They  concluded  their  deliberations  by 
enacting  only  Articles  2  (radically  altered),  3,  4,  5  and  6, 
ignoring  and  suppressing  the  eight  others. 

William's  resentment  towards  the  Irish  Catholics  con- 
tinued to  grow  throughout  the  campaigns  of  1692-5  in 
Flanders,  where  he  received  personal  proof  that  they  had 
become  a  valuable  auxiliary  to  an  enemy  who  was  already 
too  strong  for  him.  The  successive  Irish  Parliaments 
between  1692  and  1697  continued  to  display  a  desire  not 
merely  to  disregard  the  terms  of  the  Treaty,  but  even 
to  extirpate  the  Roman  Catholic  religion.  But  it  was  only 
when  the  peace  negotiations  which  led  to  the  Treaty  of 

274          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

Ryswyck  were  set  on  foot  that  William  found  time  to  give 
personal  attention  to  the  affairs  of  that  country.  In  the 
meantime  his  animosity  towards  the  Irish,  or  to  put  it  in 
another  form,  his  conviction  as  to  their  being  a  hostile 
nation,  had  become  intensified  by  his  later  experiences. 
The  bulk  of  the  Irish  troops  in  his  own  army  had  deserted 
to  the  enemy  in  France  and  Spain,  until  at  last  in  self- 
defence  he  had  framed  an  order  dismissing  all  Irishmen 
from  his  army  and  forbidding  their  being  recruited  at  all. 
At  the  same  time  the  Irish  exiles  had  become  a  notable  part 
of  the  French  armies  which  were  defeating  his  forces  and 
those  of  his  allies  in  Flanders  and  Italy,  on  the  Rhine  and  in 
the  Pyrenees.  Instead  of  being  anxious  to  enlarge  the 
privileges  conferred  in  Article  I  of  the  Treaty  in  accordance 
with  its  concluding  passage,  William  not  unintelligibly 
was  more  inclined  to  avail  himself  of  any  loophole  to 
curtail  them. 

When  men  or  governments  decide  to  break  their  words 
they  discover  some  excuse  in  the  language  of  the  promise 
or  oath  which  bound  them.  At  the  time  it  was  made  it  was 
simply  an  engagement  to  do  a  certain  thing,  and  there  was 
no  intention  not  to  do  it.  But  reflection,  or  the  intro- 
duction of  new  views  and  conditions,  alters  the  standpoint, 
and  the  concession  becomes  repugnant.  That  was  William's 
case.  In  1691  he  wanted  to  get  his  own  troops  out  of 
Ireland.  To  that  everything  else  was  subordinate.  He 
would  have  consented  to  almost  any  terms  that  ensured 
that  object.  He  let  the  Irish  troops  leave  to  swell  the  French 
armies.  He  promised  the  Irish  Catholics  the  free  exercise  of 
their  religion. 

But  by  1697  it  had  been  brought  home  to  him  very 
forcibly  that  the  Irish  were  his  opponents,  and  when  he 
asked  himself  why  they  were  his  opponents  he  could  only 
reply  :  "  Because  they  are  Catholics."  He  approached  the 
solution  of  Irish  questions  in  1697-8,  therefore,  in  a  very 
different  spirit  from  what  had  been  the  case  in  1691.  He 
was  no  longer  even  indifferent,  the  state  of  his  mind  was 

THE    CONVENTION    OF    LIMERICK       275 

vindictive.  What  he  forgot  was  that  England,  in  his  name, 
had  passed  her  word  to  the  Sister  Island  that  she  should  have 
religious  liberty,  and  in  his  vindictive  mood  he  not  merely 
broke  that  word,  but  revived  that  racial  and  religious  anti- 
pathy which,  if  faith  had  only  been  kept,  would  have  died 
out  instead  of  being  aggravated  and  fanned  to  a  flame  in 
the  eighteenth  century.  William  of  Orange,  a  mere 
passing  figure  on  the  stage  of  English  History,  cast  not 
merely  a  stigma  on  English  honour,  but  also  embroiled  and 
embittered  the  relations  between  Englishmen  and  Irishmen 
for  two  hundred  years.  As  an  alien  he  knew  nothing  about 
our  insular  relationships,  and  his  intervention  in  the  Irish 
question  might  be  styled  a  most  disastrous  instance  of 
foreign  interference  with  them.  The  Dutch  are  perhaps,  of 
all  continental  peoples,  the  closest  in  resemblance  to  the 
English,  but  the  gulf  between  them  is  still  wide,  whereas 
the  English  and  Irish  races  are  and  have  always  been  in  all 
essential  features  the  same  people. 

The  first  article  provided  that  the  Catholics  should  have 
the  free  exercise  of  their  religion  "  as  they  did  enjoy  in  the 
reign  of  King  Charles  II."  Charles  II  reigned  twenty- 
five  years,  and  during  the  greater  part  of  that  period  the 
Catholics  were  free  in  all  senses  and  respects  to  follow  their 
religion  ;  but  there  was  a  brief  interval  when  this  was  not 
the  case.  During  the  period  of  the  "  No  Popery  "  craze 
and  the  spurious  Titus  Gates  plot  there  was  repression  in 
Ireland.  Bishops,  heads  of  orders,  Jesuits,  were  expelled 
from  the  country,  or,  if  they  remained,  arrested  and  thrown 
into  prison.  Catholics  were  also  debarred  from  holding 
office,  no  Catholic  was  allowed  to  sit  in  Council,  no  Catholic 
was  permitted  to  be  armed,  and  this  was  the  general 
position  of  affairs  between  1678  and  1685,  when  James  sent 
over  Tyrconnell  to  rectify  them.  This  period  of  repression 
occurred  "  in  the  reign  of  King  Charles  II."  To  have 
provided  against  the  possibility  of  an  infraction  the  drafters 
of  the  Treaty  on  behalf  of  the  Irish  party  should  have  used 
the  words  "  in  the  reign  of  King  Charles  II  prior  to  the 

276  THE    BATTLE   OF    THE    BOYNE 

year  1678."  But  to  have  done  so  would  have  been  to  cast 
an  uncalled-for  reproach  on  the  honour  of  English  pleni- 
potentiaries. No  one  who  reads  the  text  of  the  article  will 
have  any  doubt  that  what  was  conceded  by  it  was  complete 
religious  toleration. 

But  when  the  question  was  taken  up  in  1697  by  a  Pro- 
testant House  of  Commons  in  Dublin  and  a  resentful  King 
in  London,  the  dominant  feeling  was  not  to  respect  the 
promise,  but  to  read  some  restrictions  and  diminutions 
into  the  conditions.  It  was  decided  in  an  arbitrary  and 
high-handed  manner  that  "  as  in  the  reign  of  King  Charles 
II  "  meant  "  as  in  1678-9  "  when  penal  laws  were  in  force 
and  no  Catholic  prelate  was  permitted  to  remain  in  the 
country.  The  Catholics  were  not  allowed  a  hearing.  The 
plenipotentiaries  who  had  given  up  Limerick  were,  with  the 
exception  of  Lord  Lucan,  all  living,  and  could  have  been 
called  in  to  testify  to  the  conversations  and  discussions  as  to 
what  was  meant ;  but  no  reference  would  have  been  enter- 
tained. The  Dublin  Parliament  passed  a  law  banishing  for 
ever  the  hierarchy  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  This 
was  intended  as  the  first  step  towards  uprooting  the  Roman 
Catholic  religion,  which  the  Treaty  promised  to  leave 
unhindered  and  tolerated.  But  the  history  of  the  world 
shows  that  religious  convictions,  when  firmly  held,  are  not 
to  be  uprooted  by  persecution.  Ireland  remained,  so  far  as 
the  native  Irish  were  concerned,  not  less  Catholic  for  the 
loss  of  its  Church  leaders.  What  remained  still  more  fixed 
in  the  national  mind  was  that  England  had  played  false 
and  broken  her  word ;  and  this  was  unfortunately  true  and 

It  is  to  the  credit  of  the  Irish  House  of  Lords  that  they 
refused  to  be  a  party  to  the  transaction.  In  some  way  that 
has  never  been  explained  they  stood  aside,  but  the  protest 
of  the  dissenting  peers  remains  on  record.  In  their  opinion 
"  not  one  of  the  Articles  in  the  Treaty  of  Limerick  is  fully 
confirmed."  They  declared  that  those  who  were  nominally 
intended  to  benefit  by  the  Treaty  were  "  put  in  a  worse 


position  than  they  were  in  before."  It  is  impossible  to 
doubt  that  this  statement  was  literally  true. 

We  may  pass  now  to  the  second  article  which,  with  all  its 
cumbrous  and  involved  terms  and  phrases,  seems  to  have 
been  drafted  for  the  special  purpose  of  creating  disputes  and 
differences  of  opinion.  The  restoration  of  estates  and 
rights  and  the  permission  to  exercise  certain  specified 
professions  were  restricted  in  a  sense  that  the  framers  of 
the  article  never  contemplated.  In  the  first  place,  all 
prisoners  of  war  were  excluded  from  its  benefit.  This  was 
an  extraordinary  blunder  on  the  part  of  the  Irish  negotiators. 
To  give  only  one  instance,  Lord  Kenmare,  who  had  done  so 
much  for  the  Jacobite  cause,  was  excluded  from  the  benefit 
of  this  article  because  he  was  one  of  the  Aughrim  prisoners 
in  Dublin.  A  still  larger  number  of  persons  were  affected 
by  the  limitation  of  the  right  to  practise  the  specified 
professions  to  the  five  counties  of  Limerick,  Clare,  Kerry, 
Cork,  and  Mayo.  Throughout  the  rest  of  Ireland  the 
Catholics  were  debarred  from  the  liberal  professions. 
In  this  matter  the  drafting  of  the  article  was  faulty,  and  the 
Irish  Commissioners  showed  incompetency.  On  the  other 
hand,  it  is  dubious  whether  the  greatest  competency  and 
clearness  would  have  availed  to  prevent  an  intentional 
breach  of  faith. 

The  fifth  article,  which  was  an  amplification  of  the 
second,  was  broken  by  the  refusal  to  surrender  Lord 
Clancarty  and  others  who  were  kept  several  years  in  prison, 
some,  indeed,  till  the  Peace  of  Ryswyck. 

The  seventh  article,  allowing  the  Catholic  gentry  to  carry 
arms,  was  broken  the  very  next  year  by  the  Irish  Parliament, 
which  simply  ignored  it  and  ordered  the  disarmament  of  all 
Catholics.  The  excuse  given  for  this  order  was  the  assembly 
of  James's  Irish  army  in  Normandy  for  the  invasion  of  Eng- 
land. But  when  that  danger  passed  away  the  disarmament 
edict  was  still  rigorously  enforced ;  the  only  concession  made 
was  in  the  case  of  a  few  particularly  favoured  persons  who 
had  the  right  given  them  to  carry  a  sword  by  special  license. 

278          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

The  breach  of  the  ninth  article  was  still  more  flagrant. 
This  article  reiterates  the  stipulation  in  Article  2  that  the 
only  oath  to  be  required  from  the  persons  accepting  the 
benefits  of  the  Convention  was  to  be  that  of  allegiance 
"  made  by  Act  of  Parliament  in  England  in  the  first  year  of 
William  and  Mary."  There  was  nothing  in  this  oath 
incompatible  with  the  religious  views  of  the  Catholics.  It 
was  a  simple  recognition  of  the  de  facto  Government. 
There  was  nothing  in  it  against  the  Pope  or  James  II. 

Many  instances  occurred  in  the  Parliaments  of  1692, 
1695,  and  1696  of  persons  (peers  and  commoners)  refusing 
to  take  the  additional  oath  required  of  them.  There  is  not 
a  case  of  any  one  refusing  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance. 
But  at  the  conclusion  the  officials  of  both  Houses  called 
upon  the  member  to  take  "  the  new  oath,"  and  this  was 
invariably  refused  by  all  the  Catholics,  whereupon  their 
titles  or  seats  were  declared  forfeited  or  vacant.  The  new 
oath  was  the  Declaration  of  the  English  Parliament  in 
favour  of  William  and  Mary,  and  the  upholding  of  the 
Protestant  religion  with  its  minatory  clauses  against  the 
Church  of  Rome.  Considering  that  the  simple  oath  of 
allegiance  had  been  stipulated  for  in  the  Treaty  of  Limerick 
for  the  express  purpose  of  avoiding  the  new  English  oath 
(already  in  force  in  England),  it  is  impossible  to  see  in  the 
procedure  anything  but  a  flagrant  breach  of  the  Treaty  of 
Peace  which  ended  the  war  in  Ireland. 

An  attempt  was  made  in  1698  to  pass  a  new  oath  calling 
upon  the  taker  to  denounce  the  Pope's  spiritual  power. 
This  was  found,  however,  to  be  going  too  far  and  was  with- 
drawn, but  the  reason  for  doing  so  had  nothing  to  do  with 
Ireland.  It  was  due  to  the  curious  anomaly  that  the  Pope 
of  the  day  was  on  the  side  of  the  Emperor  of  Germany  and 
against  the  King  of  France,  and  thus  indirectly  an  ally  of 
William  of  Orange. 

In  1703  a  new  oath  was  introduced,  that  of  abjura- 
tion, by  which  the  taker  swore  that  "  James  Stuart,  now 
residing  at  St.  Germains  in  France,  hath  not  any  title 


whatsoever  to  the  Crown  of  Great  Britain."  The  taking 
of  this  oath  was  declared  to  be  obligatory  on  all  those 
persons  practising  a  profession,  who  by  the  Limerick  Con- 
vention would  have  escaped  with  the  simple  oath  of 
allegiance.  The  refusal  to  take  the  oath  was  a  permanent 
disqualification,  and  probably  entailed  serious  after-con- 
sequences, of  which  banishment  would  have  been  the  least 
irksome.  The  imposition  of  oaths,  which  could  not 
possibly  be  taken  by  Catholics,  was  the  method  adopted  as 
the  easiest  for  expelling  Catholics  from  all  dignities,  offices 
and  the  learned  professions. 

Among  the  minor  provisions  of  the  No  Popery  Bill  may 
be  mentioned  the  following  : — 

It  was  made  a  penal  offence  to  send  Catholic  children  out 
of  the  country  to  be  educated  ;  at  the  same  time  no  schools 
were  allowed  in  the  country.  The  children  had  to  be  taught 
in  the  open  air,  whence  the  origin  of  hedge  schools.  The 
law  of  inheritance  by  primogeniture  was  abolished  among 
Catholics.  No  Catholic  could  vote  till  he  had  taken  the 
oath  of  abjuration,  which  his  religion  forbade  him  to  take. 
No  priest  was  to  come  into  the  country.  The  parish 
priests  were  to  be  registered.  Papist  Archbishops,  Vicar- 
Generals,  Deans,  Jesuits,  Monks,  and  Friars  were  to  be 
transported.  Finally,  Catholics  were  debarred  from  settling 
in  either  Limerick  or  Galway. 

Enough  has  been  said  to  show,  without  exciting  con- 
troversy or  accentuating  bitter  feelings,  that  the  Limerick 
Treaty  was  broken,  and  without  excuse  so  far  as  its  un- 
offending beneficiaries  were  concerned.  They  had  done 
nothing  to  deserve  the  treatment  they  received.  Love  of 
country  had  kept  them  at  home,  when  so  many  of  their 
fellow-countrymen,  moved  by  the  love  of  arms,  went  into 
exile  to  fight  under  foreign  flags.  Yet  the  following  statement 
made  by  Count  Gerald  O'Connor,  a  general  in  the  French 
army,  after  a  visit  to  Ireland  in  1720,  may  be  deemed  of 
interest  as  confirming  the  views  that  have  been  expressed  : — 

"  The  Treaty  of  Limerick,  I  have  said,  had  been  shame- 

280          THE   BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

fully  broken.  Catholics  had  not  only  been  cheated  out  of 
their  estates  by  hundreds ;  they  had  universally  been  de- 
prived, which  was  far  worse,  of  the  rights  and  privileges 
which  had  been  guaranteed  to  them.  The  Colonial 
Parliament,  with  the  full  consent  of  the  men  in  power  in 
England,  made  a  series  of  laws  which  placed  the  Irish 
Catholic  in  a  position  of  permanent  and  degrading  bondage, 
in  some  respects  worse  than  when  he  was  under  the  iron 
rule  of  Cromwell.  The  Irish  Catholic  was  forbidden  to  buy 
land  or  even  to  have  an  encumbrance  on  it ;  he  could  not 
acquire  a  house  or  an  acre  in  his  own  country.  The 
Catholic  who  happened  to  be  still  an  owner  of  land  was 
subjected  to  a  kind  of  social  torture ;  his  estate  was  made 
to  descend  in  such  a  manner  as  to  crumble  away ;  his 
family  was  barbarously  tempted  to  become  his  foe ;  the  law 
watched  at  his  hearth  to  make  him  wretched.  The  Catholic 
community  of  all  classes  was  prohibited  from  rising  in  most 
walks  of  life  ;  they  were  shut  out  from  nearly  all  pro- 
fessions and  callings ;  in  some  towns  they  could  not  even 
appear  as  traders.  These  laws,  in  a  word,  were  passed  to 
make  the  Irish  Catholic  a  slave,  to  brutalise  him  and  to 
debase  his  being  ;  in  many  of  the  relations  of  life  he  was  a 
mere  outcast,  he  was,  indeed,  usually  described  as  '  the 
Papist,  the  dangerous  and  common  enemy.' 

"  And  as  it  was  with  our  people  so  was  it  with  our  Church. 
Our  priesthood  were  not  slain  or  banished  as  in  the  days  of 
Cromwell,  but  they  were  persecuted  in  a  variety  of  ways ; 
they  were  compelled  to  give  an  account  of  themselves  to  the 
Government,  and  their  hierarchy  was  not  permitted  to  set 
foot  in  Ireland.  The  few  Catholic  owners  of  land  who 
remained  at  home  obscurely  vegetated  on  their  estates,  and 
ceased  to  be  the  national  leaders  and  guides  of  their  people. 
The  great  mass  of  our  race,  excluded  from  the  pursuits  of 
industry  and  unable  to  better  itself  in  the  affairs  of  life, 
sank  back  on  the  land  in  abject  thraldom  and  formed  a  poor 
and  down-trodden  peasantry  repeatedly  on  the  very  brink 
of  starvation. 


"  As  for  our  priesthood,  persecuted  and  jealously  watched 
as  they  were,  they  did  the  offices  of  Holy  Church,  sometimes 
in  miserable  hovels  and  sometimes  in  the  open  air,  but  they 
kept  the  Lamp  of  Life  shining  amidst  the  darkness  around, 
and  they  saved  our  race  from  sinking  into  the  depths  of 
savage  human  nature." 

There  was  one  other  person  whose  opinion  about  the 
Limerick  Convention  deserves  to  be  quoted.  But  for 
James  II  there  need  not  have  been  any  such  Convention  at 
all.  It  was  the  taking  up  of  the  Stuart  cause  by  the  Irish 
nation  that  led  to  the  war  and  the  peace.  But  for  that  the 
picked  manhood  of  Ireland  might  have  stayed  at  home, 
with  great  advantage  to  their  own  country,  and  in  the  end 
to  England  and  the  Empire.  If  they  had  remained  at  home 
the  Protestant  tyranny  could  not  have  been  attempted.  It 
was  only  possible  because  the  best  manhood  of  the  country 
had  left  it.  James  did  not  think  of  these  things.  His 
comments  on  the  event  show  that  he  only  rejoiced  because 
the  arrival  of  so  large  an  army,  which  was  to  be  under  his 
own  direct  orders,  would  enable  him  to  pose  more  as  the 
ally  than  as  the  mere  pensioner  and  dependent  of  the  King 
of  France.  Here  are  his  own  words : — 

"...  Yet  they  had  the  courage  to  insist  upon,  and  the 
dexterity  to  obtain,  articles  not  only  for  their  own  security, 
but  which  had  a  respect  to  the  whole  kingdom  ;  consulting 
in  the  first  place  the  King's  honour  and  advantage  in  getting 
permission  to  go  and  even  ships  to  transport  them  and  all 
others  into  France  who  were  desirous  to  follow  their 
Prince's  fortune  and  adhere  to  his  service  ;  which,  with 
what  went  before,  brought  into  that  kingdom  first  and 
last  near  30,000  men.  In  the  next  place  they  articled  for 
as  free  an  exercise  of  the  Catholic  religion  as  in  King 
Charles  the  Second's  time,  and  a  promise  to  procure  a 
further  security  from  any  disturbance  on  that  account ; 
that  all  the  inhabitants  of  Limerick,  all  officers  and 
soldiers  in  the  Army,  garrisons,  or  Countys  of  Limerick, 
Clare,  Kerry,  Corke  and  Mayo  should  upon  submission  be 

282  THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

restored  to  their  Estates  they  were  in  possession  of  in  King 
Charles  the  Second's  time  ;  all  persons  to  exercise  their 
trades  and  follow  their  professions,  possess  their  goods, 
catties  (chattels  ?),  etc.,  as  before  the  war,  and  in  fine  a 
general  indempnity  for  all  such  as  had  been  concerned  in  it ; 
which  had  the  English  kept  as  religiously  as  such  agreements 
ought  to  be  observed,  the  world  had  not  seen  so  many 
crying  examples  of  antient  and  noble  famelys  reduced  to  the 
last  degree  of  indigence  only  for  adhering  to  their  Prince  in 
just  defence  of  his  rights,  when  he  came  in  person  to 
demand  their  succour,  which  all  Laws  both  human  and 
divine  obliged  them  to  ;  for  even  that  senceless  cant  word  of 
Abdication,  which  was  the  poor  and  only  excuse  for  their 
unnatural  rebellion  in  England,  had  not  the  least  shaddow  of 
pretext  in  Ireland  unless  the  King's  comeing  into  a  country 
he  had  never  been  in  before,  and  governing  a  kingdom  in 
person  he  had  hitherto  governed  by  a  deputy,  must  be 
accounted  an  abandoning  of  it  by  the  parliamentary  logic 
of  our  days. 

"  Thus  was  Ireland,  after  an  obstinate  resistance  in  three 
years'  campaigns,  by  the  power  and  riches  of  England  and 
the  revolt  of  almost  all  its  own  Protestant  subjects,  torn 
from  its  natural  Sovereign,  who  though  he  was  divested  of 
the  country,  he  was  not  wholly  deprived  of  the  profits,  for  the 
greatest  part  of  those  who  were  then  in  arms  for  defence  of 
his  right,  not  content  with  the  service  already  rendered,  got 
leave  (as  was  sayd)  to  come  and  loos  their  lives  after  having 
lost  their  estates  in  defence  of  his  title,  and  brought  by  that 
means  such  a  body  of  men  into  France  as  by  their  generous 
comportment  in  accepting  the  pay  of  the  country,  instead 
of  that  which  is  usually  allowed  there  to  strangers,  and 
their  inimitable  valour  and  service  during  the  whole  cours 
of  the  war,  might  justly  make  their  Prince  pass  for  an  Ally 
rather  than  a  Pentioner  or  burthen  to  his  Most  Christian 
Majesty,  whose  pay  indeed  they  received,  but  acted  by  the 
King  their  Master's  Commission." 

Chapter  XII 



French  squadron,  under  the  command  of  the 
Count  de  Chateau  Renaud,  which  reached  the 
Shannon  on  October  30,  1691,  included  twenty 
merchantmen,  and  thus  the  task  of  conveying  the 
Irish  troops  to  France  was  simplified  and  hastened.  But 
anxious  as  the  French  admiral  was  to  depart,  he  was 
dependent  on  a  favourable  wind  to  get  out  of  the  river  and 
round  the  dangerous  headlands  of  Kerry.  Several  times 
the  poor  Irish  troops  were  placed  on  board  and  then  dis- 
embarked because  the  passage  could  not  be  attempted,  and 
it  was  not  till  the  month  of  November  was  almost  ended 
that  the  favourable  opportunity  arrived.  Once  out  of  the 
river  the  ships  made  a  good  passage,  and  all  reached  Brest 
without  loss  or  accident  between  December  5  and  7. 

According  to  one  account,  there  were  on  board  the 
French  ships  4750  Irish  troops,  including  officers,  and  these 
were  divided  into  3100  infantry,  1350  cavalry,  and  300 
dragoons.  Practically  speaking,  all  the  Irish  cavalry  that 
emigrated  sailed  with  Chateau  Renaud,  and  although  no 
specific  mention  is  made  of  them  it  may  be  concluded  that 
the  900  horses  allowed  to  leave  the  country  under  the  terms 
of  the  treaty  were  also  on  board.  As  the  cavalry  camp  was 
south-west  of  Limerick  and  nearer  Scattery,  the  highest 
point  the  French  ships  got  to,  than  the  city  itself,  it  was 
natural  that  the  mounted  men  should  leave  by  them. 
Besides,  this  arrangement  saved  Ginkel  the  responsibility 
and  trouble  of  providing  forage,  as  he  would  have  had  to  do 
if  the  cavalry  had  marched  by  road  to  Cork. 


284          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

There  is  a  fuller  report  of  the  Irish  troops  that  came  with 
Chateau  Renaud  among  the  French  records  than  any  yet 
published.  The  following  details  are  interesting  :  — 

Colonels  23 

Lt.  -Colonels       21 
Majors  45 

of   Officers 
Captains  230 

Lieutenants      227 
Ensigns  246 

Private  Persons  29 

Soldiers  4726 

Servants  (including    130  with   French 

officers)  234 


In  addition  to  the  men  were  552  women  and  266  children. 
Among  the  private  persons  were  Sir  Richard  Nagle,  Mr. 
Plowden,  and  the  other  civil  members  of  what  was  James's 
Government  in  Ireland.  Immediately  on  arrival  Lord 
Trimlestown,  whom  the  French  liked  and  who  was  declared 
by  them  to  be  a  man  of  merit,  was  sent  to  St.  Germains  to 
announce  to  King  James  the  arrival  of  the  first  part  of  his 
army.  With  a  view  to  facilitating  the  handling  of  the 
force,  and  also  no  doubt  to  simplify  the  rationing  of  so  many 
new  arrivals,  the  troops  were  disposed  in  small  garrisons 
throughout  Brittany.  Here  is  a  first  list  as  they  were 
quartered  on  December  12  : — 

Rennes          noo  St.  Brieux  400 

Malstout         300  Chateau  Landin  200 

Ploermel         400  Pintrieux  200 

La  Trinite     200  Goungarille  200 

Monmoutier  300  Redon  800 

Pambast          400  Vannes  1000 
Total,  5500  men  (officers  included). 

There  is  consequently  practical  agreement  between  the 
different  French  reports  as  to  the  number  of  Irish  that  came 
over  with  Chateau  Renaud.  The  belief  in  France  at  the 
time  was  that  Sarsfield  would  bring  four  or  five  thousand 
more.  As  a  matter  of  fact  he  brought  nearly  7000  men. 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         285 

A  few  days  after  Chateau  Renaud  sailed  from  Scattery, 
Sarsfield  set  out  on  the  march  for  Cork,  where  he  found 
thirty-eight  merchantmen  assembled  for  the  conveyance  of 
his  force.  Having  got  his  men  on  board  he  signed  the 
release  for  General  Ginkel,  already  mentioned.  He  sailed  on 
December  19  and  reached  Brest  on  the  27th,  nearly  three 
weeks  after  the  arrival  of  the  first  division. 

Unlike  his  predecessor,  he  had  a  very  stormy  passage,  and 
the  fleet  scattered  in  the  gale  had  to  make  for  the  most 
convenient  port,  some  ships  reaching  St.  Malo  and  others 
Brest.  The  troops,  unaccustomed  to  the  sea,  suffered 
great  hardships,  but  as  nothing  is  said  in  the  various  reports 
of  any  losses,  it  may  be  concluded  that  there  were  none  of 
any  account.  Whatever  other  good  qualities  the  Irish 
emigrants  possessed,  they  were  not  good  in  placing  their 
own  thoughts  on  paper,  and  it  is  a  very  remarkable  fact  that 
not  a  single  Irish  officer  has  left  us  any  record  of  the  events 
of  the  war  in  Ireland  or  of  the  formation  of  the  Irish  Brigade. 
Lord  Clare's  letter  after  Ramillies  is  the  only  piece  of 
writing  by  an  Irish  author  in  the  twenty  odd  years  that 
closed  with  the  Peace  of  Utrecht.  It  is  true  that  some  years 
ago  the  late  Mr.  O'Connor  Morris  gave  us  what  he  called  the 
Memoirs  of  his  remote  kinsman,  Count  Gerald  O'Connor, 
but  their  value,  owing  to  the  method  adopted  by  the 
editor,  is  very  uncertain.  Here  follows,  however,  what 
purports  to  be  the  only  report  left  by  an  eye-witness  of  the 
scene  at  Cork  : — 

"  Hundreds  of  the  soldiers  were  in  rags  and  unshod,  but 
all  bore  themselves  well  and  had  a  dauntless  aspect.  It  had 
been  agreed  that  the  men  who  were  to  take  service  in  France 
were  to  defile  beyond  an  appointed  spot ;  those  who  were 
willing  to  remain  were  to  turn  away.  The  choice  of  the 
immense  majority  was  soon  seen;  some  n,ooo  passed 
beyond  the  selected  point  ;  some  2000  went  quietly  to  their 
homes.  Scarcely  1000  threw  in  their  lot  with  Ginkel. 
Sarsfield  looked  on  with  pride  at  the  spectacle  exhibiting 
the  noble  spirit  of  our  race.  '  These  men,'  he  said,  '  are 

286          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

leaving  all  that  is  most  dear  in  life  for  a  strange  land  in 
which  they  will  have  to  endure  much,  to  serve  in  an  army 
that  hardly  knows  our  people  ;  but  they  are  true  to  Ireland 
and  have  still  hopes  for  her  cause  ;  we  will  make  another 
Ireland  in  the  armies  of  the  great  King  of  France.'  The 
transports  from  Limerick  were  soon  under  way ;  loud 
wailing  was  heard  from  the  adjoining  shores  as  the  departing 
sails  glided  down  the  Shannon  ;  a  few  of  the  soldiery  on 
board  escaped  by  swimming,  but  nearly  all  remained 
faithful  to  their  heroic  choice.  Some  regiments,  however, 
had  to  march  a  long  distance  to  Cork  ;  I  was  in  the  company 
of  Sarsfield  with  these  ;  the  temptation  was  too  strong  for 
some  failing  hearts ;  hundreds  deserted  and  were  never 
seen  again.  A  woeful  sight  was  seen  on  the  Lee  when  the 
transports  set  sail ;  Sarsfield  had  promised  the  exiles  who  had 
embarked  that  their  families  were  to  go  with  them  to 
France.  There  was  no  room  in  the  ships  to  enable  the 
pledge  to  be  fulfilled.  Loud  cries  and  lamentation  broke 
from  the  wives  and  children  who  had  been  left  behind  ; 
some  dashed  into  the  stream  and  perished  in  its  depths ; 
some  clung  to  the  boats  that  were  making  off  from  the 
shore  ;  many  of  the  men,  husbands  or  fathers,  plunged  into 
the  waters ;  not  a  few  lost  their  lives  in  their  efforts  to 
reach  the  dry  ground.  Nevertheless,  the  mass  of  our  army 
arrived  in  France  in  safety." 

On  December  8  Louis  XIV  appointed  Sir  Andrew  Lee 
his  Inspector-General  of  the  Irish  troops,  and  sent  him 
express  to  Brittany  to  report  on  the  new  arrivals.  But  he  had 
another  and  more  pressing  mission.  He  was  to  pick  out  600 
of  the  best  Irish  troops  and  to  send  them  off  at  once  to  join 
the  Irish  regiments  in  Savoy.  The  French  authorities 
considered  that  they  had  been  owed  on  balance  600  recruits 
for  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  from  the  time  of  St.  Ruth's 
being  sent  to  Ireland,  and  having  now  got  the  opportunity 
they  proceeded  to  pay  themselves.  Of  course,  King  James 
was  a  party  to  this  transaction  and  issued  his  commission 
for  the  purpose. 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         287 

By  way  of  compensation  for  this  abstraction  from  the 
force,  all  English,  Irish  and  Scottish  troops  unattached  in 
France  were  ordered  to  join  the  Irish  troops  in  Brittany. 
Among  these  were  about  100  Scottish  officers — the  sur- 
vivors of  Dundee's  army — under  Colonel  Cannon,  who  were 
temporarily  quartered  at  Calais.  A  second  and  larger 
contingent  was  supplied  by  the  garrison  of  Cork,  which  had 
surrendered  to  Marlborough  in  October,  1690,  on  the 
honourable  conditions  that  they  were  to  be  conveyed  to 
Flanders  and  exchanged  for  Prussian,  Huguenot,  and 
Danish  prisoners  held  by  France.  Never  were  conditions 
of  war  more  flagrantly  broken  than  these  were  by  William 
of  Orange.  It  will  be  remembered  that  even  while  still  at 
Cork  the  English  were  accused  of  leaving  the  wounded  Irish 
to  die  and  rot  in  a  tower  in  the  midst  of  the  camp,  so  that 
they  might  spread  pestilence  amongst  the  force  that  had 

As  I  fail  to  find  any  corroboration  of  this  popular  belief 
in  the  available  records,  I  do  not  accept  the  story,  but  there 
can  be  no  doubt  that  there  was  great  delay  in  furnishing  the 
ships  to  convey  the  surrendered  garrison  to  Ostend,  that 
when  they  arrived  they  were  few  in  number  and  badly 
supplied,  and  that  the  unfortunate  Irish  suffered  much 
unfair  and  unnecessary  hardship.  When  the  fleet  did  sail  it 
encountered  a  severe  gale,  and  was  dispersed,  some  ships 
beating  into  Milf  ord  Haven  and  others  into  Plymouth.  The 
officers,  more  fortunate,  had  accompanied  Marlborough 
and  been  duly  interned  in  the  Tower,  where  they  were 
awaiting  the  orders  of  the  British  Government  to  join 
their  men  at  Ostend. 

It  was  April,  1691,  before  this  reunion  took  place,  and 
then  the  Irish  troops  were  locked  up  there  and  in  Bruges. 
No  arrangements  had  been  made  for  their  reception,  and  the 
sufferings  and  hardships  undergone  defy  description.  So 
intolerable  did  these  become  that  the  Irish  officers  resorted 
to  violence  in  an  attempt  to  remedy  them,  whereupon 
they  were  placed  in  chains.  The  arrangement  was  that 

288          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

they  were  to  be  exchanged  for  foreign,  that  is  to  say  non- 
Dutch,  prisoners  in  the  hands  of  the  French,  but  the  French 
authorities  had  not  been  a  party  to  the  arrangement,  and 
William  never  informed  them.  His  plan  was  to  leave  the 
starving  soldiery  no  alternative  save  to  enter  the  service  of 
the  Emperor  and  to  proceed  to  Hungary  to  fight  the  Turks. 
The  French  report  states  that  "  although  subjected  to  the 
harshest  treatment  they  held  out  loyally." 

At  last  Colonel  John  Barrett  and  another  officer  were 
allowed  to  go  to  France  to  see  about  arranging  for  the  ex- 
change, but  afterwards  the  Dutch  Commissioners  complained 
of  the  delay  of  the  French,  and  threatened  to  ship  off  all  the 
Irish  to  America.  While  these  negotiations  were  in  progress  a 
large  number  of  the  Irish  officers  escaped  from  Bruges  and 
made  their  way  to  Lille.  The  names  (among  which  I  wish 
to  take  note  of  three  Kavanaghs  and  one  Boulger)  are  given 
in  the  French  report  of  ninety-three  officers  as  those  who 
escaped  from  Bruges.  They  were  divided  in  rank  as 
follows  :  3  majors,  29  captains,  25  lieutenants,  27  ensigns, 
and  9  cadets. 

James  intended  sending  these  officers  back  to  Ireland,  and 
it  is  not  improbable  that  some  of  them  were  on  board  the 
fleet  with  Chateau  Renaud.  But  in  any  case  they  never 
landed  in  Ireland,  and  were  back  in  France  at  the  end  of  1691 
and  thereupon  incorporated  in  the  Brigade.  As  to  the  Irish 
soldiers  at  Bruges  andOstend,it  is  not  certain  that  all  of  them 
ever  reached  France,  although  the  bulk  of  them  no  doubt 
did  so  sooner  or  later.  Indeed,  I  have  reason  to  think  that 
one  regiment,  at  least,  found  its  way  to  Germany  and 
eventually  entered  the  service  of  the  King  of  Poland  and 
Saxony,  but  its  adventures  belong  to  another  scene  and 
another  story. 

If  we  add  to  the  troops  that  came  with  Chateau  Renaud 
those  brought  by  Sarsfield  and  the  portion  of  the  Cork 
garrison  that  escaped  from  Belgium,  we  get  a  total  of  about 
14,000  Irishmen  for  the  French  service,  independent  of  the 
original  Mountcashell  Brigade.  This  total  practically 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE   IN    FRANCE         289 

agrees  with  that  given  by  the  Duke  of  Berwick  in  his 
Memoirs,  where  he  states  that  there  were  20,000  Irish 
troops,  or  thereabouts,  in  the  French  service.  We  will  now 
proceed  to  show  what  was  done  with  them,  and  how  the 
force  was  re-formed  in  order  to  make  it  accord  with  the 
system  and  organisation  of  the  French  army.  But  before 
entering  into  these  details,  it  will  be  proper  to  give  the  text 
of  the  letter  in  which  James  welcomed  the  loyal  Irish  troops 
on  their  arrival  in  France. 

"  James,  Rex.  Having  been  informed  of  the  capitulation 
and  surrender  of  Limerick  and  of  the  other  places  which 
remained  to  us  in  our  kingdom  of  Ireland,  and  of  the 
necessity  that  forced  the  Lords  Justices  and  General 
officers  of  our  forces  thereunto,  we  shall  not  defer  to  let  you 
know  and  the  rest  of  the  officers  that  came  along  with  you, 
that  we  are  extremely  satisfied  with  your  and  their  conduct, 
and  of  the  valour  of  the  soldiers  during  the  siege,  and  most 
particularly  of  your  and  their  declaration  and  resolution  to 
come  and  serve  where  we  are.  And  we  assure  you  and  order 
you  to  assure  both  officers  and  soldiers  that  are  come  along 
with  you  that  we  shall  never  forget  this  act  of  loyalty,  nor 
fail  when  in  a  capacity  to  give  them  above  others  a  particu- 
lar mark  of  our  favour.  In  the  meantime  you  are  to  inform 
them  that  they  are  to  serve  under  our  command  and  by  our 
commissions.  And  if  we  find  that  a  considerable  number 
is  come  with  the  fleet  it  will  induce  us  to  go  personally  to 
see  them  and  regiment  them.  Our  brother  the  King  of 
France  hath  already  given  orders  to  clothe  them  and 
furnish  them  with  all  necessaries,  and  to  give  them  quarters 
for  their  refreshment.  So  we  bid  you  heartily  farewell. 

"  Given  at  our  Court  at  St.  Germains,  November  27, 
1691."  (Evidently  O.S.) 

The  Irish  troops  having  arrived  in  sufficient  numbers, 
James  fulfilled  his  promise  to  come  and  see  them.  On 
December  15  he  left  for  Brest,  accompanied  by  the  Duke  of 
Berwick,  for  the  purpose  of  inspecting  the  new  force,  and  as 

290          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

a  special  favour  from  the  King  of  France  he  brought  the 
news  that  the  Irish  were  to  have  red  coats  instead  of  the 
grey  in  which  they  had  fought  at  Aughrim  and  Limerick. 

The  Capitulations  by  which  the  Irish  troops  were  to  be 
paid  by  the  French  Government  began  with  the  statement 
that  "  the  King  of  France  is  very  well  satisfied  with  the 
Irish  troops  already  in  his  service,"  and  then  set  forth  the 
details  of  pay  for  the  various  ranks.  The  Irish  received 
"  la  -petite  solde"  that  is  to  say  the  same  as  the  French 
soldier,  whereas  the  Swiss  and  German  mercenaries  were  paid 
at  a  higher  rate.  From  every  point  of  view,  then,  the  Irish 
contingent  was  a  valuable  addition  to  French  resources ; 
the  only  limitation  to  its  value  being  that  it  was  for  a  time 
subject  to  the  orders  of  James  alone,  and  not  to  those  of 

The  agreement  sets  forth  that  the  force  is  to  be  subject 
only  to  the  laws  of  discipline  of  the  King  of  England,  and 
the  following  order  in  the  grades  of  commanding  officers 
was  formally  recognised  on  the  part  of  the  King  of  France. 
They  were  to  be  General,  Lieutenant-General,  Marechal 
de  camp,  Brigadier-General,  Ma jor-General,  Quartermaster- 
General,  and  Adjutant-General.  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
James  never  appointed  any  of  his  officers  to  the  grade  of 
full  General,  and  several  of  the  other  ranks  also  were  never 

The  process  of  regimenting  the  force  went  through 
several  stages,  and  James's  own  plan,  as  described  by 
Dangeau  under  date  January  5,  1692,  was  not  carried  out. 
Here  we  read  that  :  "  King  James  has  formed  seven 
regiments  of  1400  men  each  in  two  battalions  and  one 
regiment  of  cavalry  of  600  men,  giving  a  total  of  10,400 
men.  It  is  believed  that  Sarsfield  has  brought  4000  or  5000 
more  troops  with  him." 

This  arrangement  did  not  accord  with  the  French 
system,  and  finally  the  views  of  the  French  authorities 
prevailed.  It  was  decided  that  each  battalion  should  be 
composed  of  sixteen  companies  of  50  men  apiece,  with  3 

THE   IRISH   ARRIVE   IN    FRANCE         291 

officers,  8  non-commissioned  officers,  I  trumpeter,  and  i 
drummer — so  that  a  battalion  contained  48  officers,  128  non- 
commissioned officers,  32  for  the  band  (who  were  also  to  be 
tailors  and  shoemakers),  and  800  privates,  or  about  1000  men 
in  all.  The  nine  regiments  of  Berwick's  list  and  the  eight 
of  Mr.  O'Callaghan's  were  finally  reduced  to  six.  Their 
names  and  those  of  their  first  Colonels -in-chief  were  : — 

Regiment  Colonel 

The  Guards  William  Dorington 

The  Queen's  John  Wauchope 

The  Marine  Henry  Fitzjames  (The  Lord  Prior) 

Dublin  Simon  Luttrell 

Limerick  Richard  Talbot 

Charlemont  Gordon  O'Neil 

This  gave  an  infantry  force  of  12,000  men. 

With  regard  to  the  cavalry  two  troops  of  Horse  Guards 
were  first  formed  of  loo  men  each,  as  the  personal  body- 
guard of  King  James  at  St.  Germains,  or  when  he  took  the 
field.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  they  took  part  in  the  campaigns  of 
1692-3  without  him.  The  first  troop  was  commanded  by 
the  Duke  of  Berwick  and  the  second  by  Sarsfield,  Earl  of 
Lucan.  Both  Berwick  and  Lee  reported  that  these  troops 
were  as  fine  as  any  in  the  French  service,  and  when  they 
reached  St.  Germains,  later  on  in  the  year  1692,  Louis 
nominated  three  officers  of  the  Maison  du  Roi  to  train  them 
after  the  fashion  of  his  own  corps. 

The  following  are  the  names  of  the  officers  in  the  first  list: — 

Commander,  Duke  of  Berwick 

Officers  under  him 

Major-General  Sutherland 
Colonel  Christopher  Nugent 
Lord  Trimlestown 
Francis  La  Rue 
Matthew  Cook 

Corporals  or  Brigadiers 

Robert  Preston 
Maurice  Dillon 
Brian  Carroll 
Thomas  Bietagh 
George  Rienan 

292          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Commander,  Patrick  Sarsfield,  Earl  of  Lucan 

Officers  under  him 

Charles  O'Brien 
Nicholas  Cusack 
John  Gaydon 
Robert  Arthur 

Corporals  or  Brigadiers 

Edward  Broghall 
Edward  Plunkett 
Edward  O'Brien 
George  White 
Francis  Bada 

Besides  the  Household  troops  two  cavalry  regiments 
were  formed,  each  containing  two  squadrons  of  186  officers 
and  men,  or  372  men  per  regiment.  They  were  called  the 
King's  and  Queen's  regiments  respectively.  Dominic 
Sheldon  (Lieutenant-General)  was  the  Colonel  of  the 
former,  and  Piers  Butler,  Lord  Galmoye,  of  the  latter. 
Among  these  and  the  bodyguard  the  900  horses  brought 
from  Ireland  were  distributed. 

Finally  two  regiments  of  dismounted  dragoons  were 
formed.  The  first  called  the  Royal  regiment  was  com- 
manded by  Lieutenant-General  Thomas  Maxwell,  and  the 
second  named  the  Queen's  was  placed  under  the  orders  of 
Major-General  Francis  Carroll.  Each  of  these  numbered 
558  officers  and  men. 

The  total  strength  of  King  James's  Irish  army  after  it 
was  re-formed  and  regimented  in  Brittany  was  then  as 
follows : — 

Two  troops  of  Horse  Guards  =      200 

Two  regiments  of  Cavalry  =      744 

Total  of  Mounted  Troops  944 

Two  regiments  of  Foot  Dragoons  =    1116 

Six  regiments  (twelve  battalions)  of  infantry  =  12,000 

Grand  Total     14,060 
There  were  also  three  so-called  Independent  Companies 

THE   IRISH   ARRIVE   IN   FRANCE         293 

with  a  total  of  201  men,  but  these  were  gradually  merged 
in  the  main  body,  and  disappeared  from  the  roster. 

After  this  force  had  been  organised  it  was  discovered 
that  there  were  about  1000  Irish  troops  over,  and  with 
these  and  others  already  sent  to  Savoy  the  three  regiments 
of  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  were  given  an  extra  battalion 
apiece,  raising  each  of  these  regiments  to  a  total  of  2013 
men  besides  officers.  Over  and  above  these  figures  the 
French  fleet  secured  nearly  a  thousand  Irishmen  as  sailors, 
and  a  few  of  the  Irish  colonels  complained  that  some  of 
their  best  men  were  being  taken  away  from  them  for  sea 
service.  Nine  Irish  officers,  whose  names  appear  in  the 
list  printed  by  William  Weston,  King  James's  printer  at 
St.  Germains,  were  also  appointed  to  command  privateers 
operating  from  St.  Malo. 

The  voluminous  reports  of  the  French  intendants  sent 
from  Paris  to  superintend  the  clothing  and  arming  of  the 
Irish  troops  contain  much  of  interest,  and  although  they 
are  not  in  accord  on  all  points,  they  agree  in  one,  and  that  is 
as  to  the  fine  physique  of  the  men  themselves.  The  phrase 
occurs  frequently  "  Us  sont  des  gars  tres  beaux"  Of  the 
officers  they  had  not  such  a  high  opinion  as  of  the  men,  for 
"  many  of  them  were  old  and  slow  " — adding,  with  a 
cheerful  note — "  but  these  can  be  soon  weeded  out." 
They  also  showed  their  good  sense  and  their  desire  that  the 
experiment  should  succeed  by  removing  a  cause  of  friction. 

A  certain  number  of  Frenchmen  had  continued  to  serve  in 
Ireland  down  to  the  end  of  the  war,  and  it  came  out  that 
many  of  them  had  lent  their  Irish  comrades  money.  As 
there  was  no  possibility  of  these  sums  ever  being  repaid 
the  French  officers  were  removed  as  quickly  as  possible  to 
garrisons  where  there  were  no  Irish  troops.  It  cannot  be 
disputed  that  the  French  authorities  did  everything  in  their 
power  to  ensure  the  success  of  the  experiment,  and  to 
remedy  without  too  much  interference  the  defects  due  to 
the  very  imperfect  discipline  of  the  Irish  army.  Thanks  to 
the  efforts  of  Lee  and  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  who  aided  the 

294          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

French  in  their  difficult  task,  order  was  evolved  out  of  the 
confusion  inseparable  from  the  task  of  dealing  with  foreign- 
ers, who  did  not  know  the  language  of  the  country  in  which 
they  had  arrived. 

Having  got  control  of  a  considerable  Irish  army  the  upper- 
most question  with  the  French  Government  was  how  to 
make  use  of  it,  and  to  secure  some  equivalent  for  the  great 
expense  to  which  it  had  gone  in  equipping  it.  It  is  possible 
that  the  dual  control  to  which  it  was  subjected  embarrassed 
the  French  authorities,  but  certainly  the  steps  taken  did 
not  reveal  any  great  intelligence  in  the  French  Cabinet. 
The  perfectly  obvious  course  to  anyone  who  understood  the 
circumstances  of  the  case  and  also  the  Irish  character  was 
to  have  marched  the  whole  corps  into  Flanders  to  join  the 
army  of  Luxemburg,  with  the  assurance  that  there  they 
would  have  the  chance  of  settling  their  score  with  William  of 
Orange.  If  the  Marshal  had  had  the  disposal  of  these 
14,000  men  the  campaign  of  1692  should  not  have  seen 
only  the  barren  victory  of  Steinkerk,  but  the  expulsion  of 
the  Dutch  from  the  greater  part  of  what  is  modern 

But  the  French  idea  was  to  break  up  the  force  into 
separate  detachments,  some  for  Savoy,  others  for  Rous- 
sillon,  the  Rhine  and  local  garrisons,  of  which  Metz  was  the 
most  important.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  two  regiments  of 
dismounted  dragoons,  under  Maxwell  and  Carroll,  were 
sent  off  at  once  to  Savoy,  where  it  was  considered  that  they 
would  be  specially  valuable  in  dealing  with  the  Barbets. 
But  before  any  further  dislocation  of  the  force  took  place 
there  was  a  remarkable  change  of  plans  at  Paris. 

It  is  only  natural  to  suppose  that  James  felt  his  hopes 
revive  when  he  reviewed  his  Irish  soldiers  in  the  full 
bravery  of  their  new  scarlet  uniforms.  He  saw  before  him 
the  force  with  which  England  might  be  recovered,  and  it 
was  his  own  force  entirely,  amenable,  as  Louis  informed  him, 
to  himself  alone.  Providence  had  furnished  him  with  the 
means  of  making  one  more  bid  for  his  lost  Crown.  James 

THE   IRISH   ARRIVE   IN   FRANCE         295 

was  back  at  St.  Germains  in  February,  1692,  and  Louis  was 
busily  occupied  with  his  plans  for  the  coming  campaign. 
Louis  proposed  to  take  the  field  himself  in  Flanders,  and 
to  conduct  in  person  the  siege  of  Namur.  All  the  appoint- 
ments had  been  duly  made,  to  each  of  the  prominent 
actors  a  role  had  been  assigned,  and  as  for  the  Irish  troops, 
out  of  Savoy  and  Roussillon,  they  were  to  be  given  a 
passive  and  secondary  part.  At  this  moment  James 
returned  from  Brittany. 

He  was  full  of  hope  and  confidence  about  his  prospects 
of  recovering  the  English  throne  with  the  fine  army 
he  had  received  out  of  Ireland,  and  after  a  few  con- 
sultations Louis,  who  since  the  death  of  Louvois  was  his 
own  chief  Minister,  became  infected  with  his  guest's 
enthusiasm  and  assented  to  his  proposals.  To  tell  the  truth, 
Louis  was  in  a  somewhat  awkward  position  in  regard  to  his 
guest  in  this  matter.  He  had  told  James  that  the  Irish 
army  was  his  own,  and  all  the  arrangements  had  been  on  that 
basis.  How  could  he  oppose  James  when  he  proposed  to  use 
his  own  troops  for  his  own  service  ?  There  was  no  choice 
but  to  acquiesce. 

But  James  did  not  base  his  hopes  entirely,  or  perhaps  even 
mainly,  on  the  Irish  soldiers.  His  agents  in  England 
assured  him  that  there  was  great  discontent  in  the  country. 
They  also  got  up  an  intrigue  with  two  of  the  English 
admirals,  Admiral  Russell  and  Vice-Admiral  Richard 
Carter,  and  James,  who  had  known  them  both  in  earlier 
days,  felt  satisfied  that  they  would  come  over  and  bring 
with  them  half  the  fleet.  So  confident  was  the  King  of 
their  adhesion,  that  he  entirely  ignored  their  own  reserva- 
tion, which  was  that  "  there  should  be  no  fighting,"  and 
that  "  on  no  account  was  the  French  fleet  to  be  present  " 
when  they  and  those  who  followed  them  should  throw  off 
their  allegiance  to  King  William  and  attach  themselves  to 
the  side  of  King  James.  Russell  was  a  brave  and  capable 
seaman,  but  the  condition  he  attached  to  his  coming  over 
shows  him  to  have  been  either  a  most  astute  person  or  a 

296          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

fool.  He  was  astute  if  he  qualified  his  second  act  of  dis- 
loyalty with  an  impossible  condition  ;  he  was  a  fool  if  he 
thought  that  the  part  of  the  English  fleet  he  hoped  to 
detach  from  William  could  hold  its  own  against  the  Dutch 
without  the  aid  of  the  French.  James's  confidence  had 
been  abused  so  often  that  it  is  surprising  to  find  him  once 
more  childishly  credulous  about  these  assurances.  Among  the 
public  men  of  England  at  that  moment  there  was  not  one 
whose  word  could  be  implicitly  relied  on,  and  Carter, 
before  the  hour  of  defection  arrived,  informed  the  Queen, 
who  was  acting  as  sole  ruler  while  her  husband  was  in 
Flanders,  of  the  whole  transaction.  James  was  nursing  the 
hope  that  the  better  half  of  the  English  fleet  would  come 
over  to  his  side  at  the  very  moment  that  the  conspirators 
had  repented  and  given  the  existing  Government  full 
assurance  that  they  would  fight  to  the  death. 

The  defection  of  the  Navy  was  only  part  of  a  general 
plot  for  the  restoration  of  James,  which  looked  so  promising 
about  this  time.  It  had  been  engineered  by  Lord 
Preston  (James's  accredited  agent),  Mr.  John  Ashton,  and 
Mr.  Cross.  The  Marlboroughs  were  deeply  implicated  in 
it,  and  the  Princess  Anne  had  promised  to  return  to  her 
obedience  to  her  father.  But  at  the  end  of  1 69 1  it  had  become 
known  in  London  that  there  was  a  Jacobite  movement  of 
more  than  usual  importance  afoot.  Preston  was  arrested, 
and  to  save  his  life  confessed  all  that  he  knew  and  rather 
more.  Ashton  and  Cross  were  also  arrested  and  promptly 
executed.  The  more  important  conspirators  were  warned 
by  their  friends  to  destroy  their  papers  and  show  great 
circumspection.  James  continued  to  regard  the  plot  as  in 
full  activity  at  a  time  when  the  intended  participators  had 
abandoned  all  interest  in  it  and  were  thinking  only  of  saving 
their  own  necks. 

Having  induced  Louis  to  fall  in  with  his  plans  and  to 
promise  him  the  naval  and  military  support  he  needed, 
James  drew  up,  with  the  assistance  of  his  Lord  Chancellor 
Herbert,  a  Declaration  intended  to  convince  his  English 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         297 

subjects  that  there  would  be  no  interference  with  their 
religion,  and  that  all  the  foreign  troops  he  brought  with  him 
should  be  sent  back  to  their  own  country  as  soon  as  he,  their 
lawful  King,  had  been  restored  to  the  throne  of  his  ances- 
tors. A  free  pardon  was  promised  to  the  nation  at  large, 
with  a  reservation  as  to  certain  persons  whose  names  filled 
a  long  list.  Amongst  these  were  persons  of  great  account 
like  Sunderland  and  Ormonde,  and  of  little  account  like  the 
common  people  of  Faversham,  who  had  offered  James  per- 
sonal indignities,  and  the  jurymen  who  had  taken  part  in 
"the  barbarous  murder  of  Mr.  John  Ashton  and  Mr.  Cross." 
The  Declaration  did  James  a  great  deal  of  harm.  The 
public  fastened  not  on  the  pledges,  but  on  the  reservations. 

Louis,  having  assented  to  the  expedition,  did  everything 
in  his  power  to  ensure  its  success.  He  appointed  Marshal 
Bellefonds  to  the  command-in-chief,  and  de  Tesse  to  assist 
him  as  Lieutenant-General  on  account  of  his  knowledge 
of  the  Irish.  He  sanctioned  the  employment  of  as  many 
French  troops  as  could  be  spared  out  of  the  garrison  of 
Normandy  to  raise  King  James's  own  forces  to  a  total  of 
about  20,000  men.  By  the  end  of  April,  1692,  this  army 
was  encamped  on  the  heights  above  the  Channel  between 
Havre  de  Grace  and  Cape  La  Hogue.  It  was  composed  of 
12,000  Irish  infantry,  1000  Irish  cavalry,  3000  French 
cavalry,  and  4000  French  infantry  and  artillery.  King 
James  and  all  his  councillors,  including  Melfort,  were  at 
head-quarters.  Richard  Hamilton,  released  from  the 
Tower  in  exchange  for  Mount  joy,  and  Sarsfield,  were  the 
Lieutenant-Generals  under  James  in  person ;  Sheldon, 
Galmoye,  and  Wauchope  the  Brigadiers.  The  utmost 
confidence  prevailed  in  the  Jacobite  camp.  It  was  generally 
believed  that  the  hour  of  restoration  had  arrived. 

The  army  of  invasion  having  been  collected,  it  only 
remained  to  get  it  over  the  Channel  into  England.  The 
combined  Anglo-Dutch  fleet  of  over  eighty  sail  lay  at 
Spithead  watching  and  waiting  for  the  moment  to  issue 
forth.  It  was  clear  that  the  passage  could  not  be  attempted 

298          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

until  a  victory  at  sea  had  cleared  the  way.  A  French 
squadron  of  forty-four  ships  was  anchored  in  the  roadstead 
of  Cherbourg  under  the  command  of  Tourville,  the  principal 
French  Admiral,  and  perhaps  the  ablest  seaman  of  his  day. 
Louis  had  ordered  the  Chevalier  D'Estrees  to  bring  his 
squadron  of  thirty-five  ships  from  the  Mediterranean,  to 
join  Tourville  and  to  co-operate  with  him  in  clearing  the 
Channel.  It  is  to  be  noted  that  none  of  the  French  authori- 
ties entertained  the  smallest  doubt  that  Tourville  and 
D'Estrees  combined  would  be  more  than  a  match  for  the 
Anglo-Dutch  force.  If  the  plan  had  been  carried  out  as 
arranged  the  balance  of  probability  favoured  the  French 
scheme,  and  James  might  have  recovered  his  throne.  But 
the  strong  westerly  gales  that  blew  through  the  Straits  of 
Gibraltar  kept  D'Estrees  shut  up  in  the  Mediterranean  and 
led  the  three  chief  directors  of  the  enterprise,  Louis,  James 
and  Tourville,  to  commit  a  stupendous  act  of  folly.  All 
were  in  their  several  degrees  to  blame,  but  whereas  the 
French  diarists  throw  the  chief  responsibility  on  James,  a 
more  dispassionate  enquiry  would  place  it  on  the  shoulders 
of  Louis  himself. 

It  was  not  easy  to  feed  an  army  in  those  days,  and  the 
strain  of  providing  for  20,000  troops  for  several  months, 
including  provender  for  4000  horses,  was  felt  even  in  so 
productive  a  province  as  Normandy.  Week  followed  week 
in  enforced  inaction.  Several  times  the  cavalry  were 
embarked  in  their  flotilla  at  the  mouth  of  the  Seine,  and  as 
often  they  had  to  be  landed  again,  as  D'Estrees  had  not 
arrived  and  the  Channel  was  not  clear.  May  was  drawing 
to  a  close,  the  ardour  displayed  in  April  was  cooling,  and 
there  seemed  no  alternative  to  abandoning  the  undertaking 
except-  by  Tourville  risking  an  engagement  with  a  fleet 
twice  his  superior  in  strength.  Left  to  himself  Tourville 
would  not  have  done  anything  so  foolish,  but  at  the  end  of 
May  he  received  the  formal  orders  of  his  Sovereign  to 
engage  the  enemy  at  all  hazards. 

Why  did  Louis  give  this  unwise  order  ?     The  principal 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE   IN    FRANCE         299 

cause  of  his  later  misfortunes  was,  as  we  shall  show  when  we 
come  to  deal  with  them,  his  interference  with  the  man  on 
the  spot,  his  arbitrary  order  that  a  battle  was  to  be  fought 
whatever  prudence  said  to  the  contrary.  But  in  1692  he 
had  not  reached  this  stage  of  haughty  arrogance,  and 
besides  he  generally  left  a  little  more  discretion  to  his  naval 
commanders  than  to  those  on  land.  It  is  impossible  to  avoid 
the  conclusion  that  Louis  ordered  Tourville  to  fight  because 
he  relied  on  James's  assurances  that  at  least  some  part  of  the 
English  fleet  would  not  participate  in  the  contest.  It  had 
not  fought  at  Beachy  Head  under  Torrington  ;  why  should 
it  fight  off  La  Hogue  under  Russell,  who  was  dubbed 
James's  man  ? 

We  must  make  allowance  for  James's  feelings.  He  saw 
one  more  chance — what  he  conceived  to  be  his  best  chance 
— slipping  away.  To  the  French  Government  it  meant 
comparatively  little  that  the  camp  in  Normandy  should  be 
broken  up  and  the  expedition  abandoned.  To  James  it 
meant  the  destruction  of  all  his  hopes,  and  it  is  not  sur- 
prising that  he  did  everything  possible,  whether  prudent 
or  not,  to  avert  such  a  decision.  As  the  arrival  of  D'Estrees's 
squadron  became  more  and  more  deferred,  so  did  James's 
assurances  that  Russell  and  Carter  would  not  fight  become 
more  positive.  Despite  all  his  experiences  he  continued  to 
believe  in  the  loyalty  of  his  English  sailors.  Besides,  had  he 
not  Admiral  Russell's  assurances  conveyed  through  his 
agent  Mr.  Lloyd  in  his  pocket  ?  James,  having  convinced 
himself  of  the  imminent  defection  of  the  English  fleet, 
succeeded  in  infecting  Louis  with  his  own  optimism. 
Tourville  was  not  strong  enough  to  deal  with  the  Anglo- 
Dutch  fleet  combined,  but  if  it  was  only  to  prove  an  affair 
with  the  Dutch  he  was  able  to  count  on  victory. 

Thus  influenced  by  the  Stuart  King,  Louis,  relying  on 
his  luck,  for  he  had  not  at  that  moment  tasted  the  bitterness 
of  defeat  either  on  sea  or  land,  wrote  the  fatal  order  to 
Tourville  to  sail  and  attack  at  all  costs  the  enemy's  fleet. 
Among  all  Louis's  commanders  Catinat  was  the  only  one  to 

300          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

disobey  the  King's  orders  when  he  did  not  approve  of  them. 
Tourville  had  some  sense  of  responsibility  to  his  men,  and 
was  not  without  a  certain  natural  obstinacy  of  his  own,  but 
unfortunately  he  was  at  the  moment  suffering  from  some 
idle  gossip  at  Court,  where  the  heroes  of  the  boudoir  had 
pronounced  Tourville  a  sluggard  in  action.  One  Minister 
even  went  so  far  as  to  accuse  him  of  cowardice,  and  sub- 
sequently had  to  explain  his  words  by  dividing  cowardice 
into  two  separate  compartments.  There  was,  he  explained, 
the  physical  cowardice  known  to  everybody,  but  with  which 
he  had  never  thought  to  couple  the  name  of  the  brave 
Tourville  ;  there  was  another  kind  of  mental  or  spiritual 
cowardice  which  prevented  a  man  taking  decided  action, 
and  that  was  what  he  meant  to  imply.  The  distinction  was 
not  very  clear,  but  it  sufficed  to  avert  a  duel. 

Tourville  then  received  his  Sovereign's  order  at  a  bad 
moment.  His  blood  was  up  and  his  judgment  suffered.  He 
gave  his  orders  to  weigh  anchor  and  to  go  in  search  of  the 
enemy.  At  that  moment  James  had  a  letter  in  his  pocket 
stating  that  "  Russell  entreated  him  to  prevent  the  two 
fleets  from  meeting,  and  gave  him  warning  that  as  he  was 
an  officer  and  an  Englishman  it  behoved  him  to  fire  on  the 
first  French  ship  that  he  met  although  he  saw  James  himself 
on  the  quarter-deck."  In  face  of  this  plain  speaking  there 
could  be  no  justification  at  all  for  the  opinion  that  the 
French  would  have  to  deal  only  with  the  Dutch  fleet. 
When  St.  Simon  and  other  French  chroniclers  accuse  James 
of  having  been  responsible  for  the  defeat  at  La  Hogue,  we 
must  state  with  some  precision  the  degree  of  his  responsi- 
bility. He  allowed  his  hopes  to  carry  him  away  as  to  the 
intentions  of  the  English  commanders,  even  to  the  extent 
of  ignoring  the  written  evidence  in  his  pocket.  But  the 
French  writers  affirm  what  is  manifestly  absurd  when  they 
say  that  James  expressed  his  pride  and  pleasure  at  seeing  the 
English  fleet  beat  the  French.  That  defeat  meant  the 
destruction  of  his  fondest  hopes,  and  James  could  not  be 
conceived  by  any  possibility  as  in  a  rejoicing  mood  ;  but 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE   IN    FRANCE         301 

perhaps  the  most  conclusive  proof  to  the  contrary  would 
be  the  simple  fact  that  James  saw  nothing  of  the  battle,  as 
is  made  clear  by  the  Duke  of  Berwick's  narrative  which 
reads  as  follows  : — 

"  This  winter  the  Most  Christian  King,  convinced  that 
the  speediest  method  of  putting  an  end  to  the  war  would  be 
to  re-establish  the  King  on  the  throne  of  England,  and 
excited,  moreover,  to  this  generous  undertaking  by  the 
friendship  he  naturally  entertained  for  that  prince,  gave 
orders  for  equipping  a  great  fleet,  forty-four  ships  of  which 
were  fitting  out  at  Brest  and  thirty-five  at  Toulon.  All  the 
Irish  troops  with  some  battalions  and  some  squadrons  of 
French  were  cantoned  in  the  neighbourhood  of  La  Hogue 
and  Havre  de  Grace,  where  the  embarkation  was  to  take 
place,  and  the  King  repaired  to  a  small  distance  from  La 
Hogue  at  the  latter  end  of  April. 

"  The  fleet  was  ordered  to  rendezvous  off  Ushant  in  the 
month  of  May,  but  the  Count  D'Estrees  with  the  ships 
from  Toulon  was  detained  six  weeks  in  the  Mediterranean 
by  contrary  winds.  The  Most  Christian  King,  impatient 
to  execute  his  plan,  sent  orders  to  the  Chevalier  de  Tour- 
ville,  Admiral  of  the  Fleet,  to  enter  the  Channel  with  the 
ships  from  Brest,  without  waiting  for  the  squadron  under 
the  Count  D'Estrees,  and  to  fight  the  enemy  at  all  events 
if  he  met  with  them. 

"  The  Admiral,  who  was  the  most  able  seaman  in  France 
and  perhaps  in  the  world,  was  piqued  that  in  the  last  cam- 
paign some  persons  had  endeavoured  to  do  him  ill  offices 
at  Court,  and  even  accused  him  of  not  being  fond  of 
engagements.  He  therefore  without  hesitation  executed 
the  order  he  had  received.  He  entered  the  Channel  with  his 
forty-four  ships  of  the  line,  and  having  learned  that  the 
combined  fleets  of  England  and  Holland,  to  the  number 
of  eighty-five  ships  of  the  line,  were  at  Spithead,  he 
steered  for  that  place.  The  Dutch,  seeing  him  advance 
with  all  his  sails  set  and  so  inferior  a  force,  at  first  sus- 
pected some  treachery  and  kept  their  wind  ;  but  they 

302          THE   BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

soon  found  their  fears  were  false.  Tourville  attacked  the 
English  with  great  spirit ;  the  action  continued  till  night, 
and  never  was  any  engagement  more  brilliant,  bolder  or 
more  glorious  for  the  French  Navy.  Tourville,  though 
surrounded  by  enemies,  fought  like  a  lion.  The  enemy 
did  not  take  a  single  ship,  nor  even  ventured  to  force  his 
line.  However,  as  he  saw  that  he  could  not  maintain  so 
unequal  a  combat,  and  had  already  lost  a  great  number 
of  men,  he  thought  prudence  required  of  him  to  retreat 
in  the  night  to  the  coast  of  France,  which  he  did,  and  was 
followed  by  the  enemy's  fleet. 

"  We  had  heard  the  sound  of  the  guns  very  distinctly, 
and  the  next  morning  we  descried  a  number  of  ships 
advancing  to  our  coasts.  At  first  we  distinguished  only 
the  French  colours  and  thought  that  our  victorious  fleet 
was  come  to  transport  us  to  England,  but  our  joy  was  of 
short  duration,  for  soon  after  we  discovered  the  English 
flag,  which  convinced  us  but  too  fully  that  the  allies  were 
in  pursuit  of  our  ships.  .  .  .  Four  of  Tourville's  ships 
that  were  most  damaged  put  into  Cherbourg,  where  the 
enemy  burned  them  a  few  days  later,  and  he  with  thirteen 
ships  entered  the  bay  of  La  Hogue.  He  immediately 
anchored  in  line  as  near  land  as  he  could  and  came  on 
shore  to  wait  upon  the  King  of  England,  who  lodged  near 
the  coast,  to  receive  his  orders  and  consult  upon  what 
was  proper  to  be  done. 

"  The  Marshal  de  Bellefonds,  who  was  to  command 
the  land  forces,  and  all  the  general  officers,  as  well  of  sea  as 
land,  were  summoned  to  the  Council.  Tourville  proposed 
all  the  different  courses  that  remained  to  be  taken,  but 
at  the  same  time  showed  that  according  to  all  appear- 
ances there  was  not  one  by  which  the  ships  could  be  saved, 
and  in  case  it  should  be  determined  to  defend  them,  every 
soul  in  them  must  inevitably  perish  if  the  enemy  should  set 
fire  to  them.  It  was  resolved,  therefore,  to  run  them 
aground  after  having  taken  out  of  them  everything  we 
could  and  to  employ  the  sloops,  of  which  we  had  a  great 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         303 

number  destined  for  the  disembarkation,  to  prevent  them 
from  being  set  on  fire. 

"  The  enemy  who  were  in  line  of  battle  at  the  entrance 
of  the  bay  sent  some  ships  of  war  to  cannonade  the  fort  of 
La  Hogue,  and  to  support  their  sloops  which  were  advancing 
in  good  order  with  some  fire  ships ;  ours  put  forward  to 
meet  them,  but  as  soon  as  they  came  within  musket  shot 
the  enemy,  more  accustomed  and  better  skilled  in  ma- 
noeuvres of  that  sort  than  our  people,  drove  them  back  to 
land  ;  after  which  they  took  possession  of  the  ships,  but 
not  being  able  to  get  them  off  burned  them. 

"  After  this  unfortunate  expedition,  we  continued  some 
time  longer  on  the  coast ;  till  by  order  from  the  French 
Court,  the  troops  marched  to  reinforce  the  army  on  the 
frontiers.  Then  the  King  returned  to  St.  Germains." 

St.  Simon,  not  content  with  accusing  James  of  having 
lost  the  battle  by  raising  false  hopes  as  to  the  defection  of 
part  of  the  English  fleet,  goes  on  to  make  him  responsible 
for  the  burning  of  the  ships,  which  took  place  under  the 
eyes  of  James  and  Bellefonds,  and  he  roundly  accuses 
James  of  being  the  chief  culprit  through  his  "fatalisme 
inerte"  This  does  not  accord  with  Berwick's  story,  or  with 
his  assertion  that  according  to  Tourville  himself,  "  there 
was  not  one  way  by  which  the  ships  could  be  saved."  How- 
ever, it  justifies  the  quotation  of  James's  own  narrative  of 
the  event.  This  differs  in  some  material  details  from 
Berwick's,  but  unfortunately  the  feeling  cannot  be  re- 
pressed in  dealing  with  anything  put  forward  by  James 
that  he  is  placing  his  apology  before  the  judgment  of 
posterity.  Here  is  his  story  : — 

"  He  (James)  began  to  embark  his  men  the  day  after  he 
came  to  the  sea  coast,  but  the  transport  ships  were  so  long 
in  getting  together,  and  those  which  came  from  Havre  de 
Grace  so  cruelly  battered  by  a  storm,  that  they  were  not  in 
a  condition  to  sail  till  they  had  notice  of  the  English  and 
Dutch  fleets  being  joined  ;  upon  which  corvettes  were  sent 
to  acquaint  M.  Tourville,  but  he  having  orders  to  seek  out 

304          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

the  English  (then  supposed  to  be  alone)  came  in  presence  of 
the  enemie  before  that  intelligence  rought  him,  and  being 
piqued  at  those  reflections  mentioned  before  of  his  not 
pursuing  the  victory  at  Bechy  Bay,  thought  fit  to  observe 
his  orders  to  the  letter  though  the  Dutch  were  joined  :  so, 
notwithstanding  the  great  inequality,  bore  down  upon 
them  on  May  29  in  the  morning  S.W.  of  Cape  Barfleur,  and 
maintained  the  fight  with  equality  enough  till  about  four 
in  the  afternoon,  and  then  the  wether  coming  calm  the 
French  thought  fit  to  tow  away  with  their  boats  considering 
how  much  they  were  out-numbered  and  that  no  defection 
appeared  on  the  English  side.  Whether  Admiral  Carter  had 
any  real  design  for  the  King's  service  (as  was  reported),  he 
being  killed  at  the  beginning  of  the  engagement,  left  that 
matter  in  doubt  as  well  as  by  what  hand  he  dyed.  However, 
the  damage  the  French  had  undergone  hitherto  was  not 
considerable,  but  the  wind  springing  up  a  fresh  gale  about 
six  the  English  renewed  the  engagement,  which  the  un- 
seasonable bravour  of  Admiral  Tourville  prevented  the 
French  from  declining,  and  was  the  occasion  of  a  mighty 
loss  soon  after  ;  for  he  counting  it  too  great  a  dishonour  to 
shew  his  stern  to  an  enemie  and  trusting  to  the  strength  of 
his  own  ship  '  The  Royal  Sun,'  a  mighty  vessel  of  120  guns, 
resolved  to  stand  the  brunt  and  lay  like  a  Castle  in  the  sea, 
tho'  attacked  on  all  sides,  being  too  well  manned  to  be 
boarded  by  the  enemie ;  but  by  this  means  both  he  and 
those  who  thought  it  their  duty  not  to  abandon  their 
Admiral  could  never  after  get  cleer  of  the  English,  but  were 
forced  to  that  scurvy  alternative  either  to  be  taken  or  to  run 
ashore.  Part,  indeed,  of  the  French  fleet  got  into  the  race 
of  Aldernee  betwixt  the  promontory  and  the  Isle  of 
Guernsey  and  so  saved  themselves  at  St.  Malos,  but  Tour- 
ville with  sixteen  great  vessels  was  necessitated  to  run 
aground,  and  yet  even  then  it  had  not  been  impracticable 
to  save  them  if  the  King's  Council  had  been  followed,  for  the 
frigates  and  fire  ships  which  Russel  sent  to  destroy  them 
could  not  come  near  enough  to  doe  them  any  mischief,  upon 

THE    IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         305 

which  the  King  proposed  to  put  land  men  on  board  who 
would  undertake  their  defence  against  the  Enemie's  armed 
boats,  which  was  the  only  way  they  had  to  attack  them  in  the 
shallow  water  where  they  lay.  But  the  Admiral  thought  it 
a  dishonour  to  commit  the  care  and  defence  of  his  ships  to 
any  but  the  seamen  themselves,  who,  being  disheartened  by 
the  late  defeat,  soon  abandoned  their  posts,  at  the  first 
approach  of  the  English  (though  but  in  chalops),  who, 
notwithstanding  the  continual  fire  of  several  batteries 
raised  on  the  shore,  burnt  all  these  men-of-war  that  had 
run  upon  it.  ... 

"  This  defeat  was  too  considerable  to  be  redressed  and  too 
afflicting  to  be  looked  upon,  nor  was  it  even  safe  to  do  it 
long,  for  as  if  everything  conspired  to  encreas  the  King's 
misfortune  and  hazard,  his  own  ships,  as  if  it  were  with 
their  dying  groans,  would  have  endangered  his  life  had  he 
not  been  timely  advertised  to  remove  from  the  place  where 
he  fortuned  to  stand  ;  for  as  soon  as  they  were  burnt  to  the 
guns,  which  were  most  of  them  loaden,  they  fired  on  all 
hand,  which  raked  the  very  place  where  the  King  had  been 
and  did  some  small  damage  on  shore,  so  little  was  such  an 
accident  foreseen." 

Whether  we  accept  Berwick's  or  James's  version  as  the 
truth,  there  is  no  reason  to  fasten  greater  responsibility  on 
James  for  the  disaster  than  that  he  allowed  his  hopes  to  bias 
his  judgment  as  to  the  feelings  of  his  English  sailors 
towards  him.  France  lost  on  this  occasion  the  naval 
equality  which  she  had  long  maintained  against  two  power- 
ful rivals  combined,  but  Tourville  was  covered  with  glory. 
His  desperate  battle  with  a  fleet  twice  his  strength  in 
numbers  was  compared  with  the  most  heart-stirring  feats  of 
chivalry,  and  the  English  Admiral  sent  a  special  envoy  on 
shore  to  add  his  tribute  to  his  glory  for  the  most  gallant 
fight  he  had  ever  witnessed.  Louis  received  Tourville  at 
Versailles  before  the  whole  Court,  and  personally  com- 
plimented him  on  his  valour.  But  the  days  had  passed 
when  the  gallantry  of  the  individuals  concerned  atoned  for 

3o6          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

a  national  reverse.  During  the  remainder  of  the  war  the 
French  coast  continued  to  be  exposed  to  the  raids  and  insults 
of  the  English.  A  new  barrier  had  been  placed  in  the  path 
of  Stuart  enterprises  against  England.  The  English  fleet 
commanded  the  Channel. 

The  means  of  conveyance  destroyed  there  was  no 
further  use  in  keeping  the  army  intended  for  the  invasion 
of  England  idle  on  the  Norman  coast.  The  French  troops 
returned  to  their  garrisons.  The  Irish  received  marching 
orders  in  various  directions.  King  James  hastened  back  to 
St.  Germains,  where  a  week  later  his  daughter  the  Princess 
Louise  Mary  was  born  on  June  28,  1692.  In  this  princess, 
to  whom  Louis  stood  as  godfather,  the  highest  courage  and 
the  most  attractive  qualities  of  the  Stuarts  were  combined. 
If  she  and  her  brother,  the  Old  Pretender,  could  have 
exchanged  parts,  history  might  well  have  taken  a  different 

However  great  his  disappointment  at  the  failure  of  the 
expedition  for  the  recovery  of  England  by  his  guest, 
however  deep  his  anxiety  at  being  placed  in  a  position  of 
naval  inferiority  in  the  Channel,  Louis  still  preserved  in  his 
attitude  towards  James  all  the  cordiality  and  courtesy  of  the 
genial  host.  He  allowed  neither  defeat  nor  disappointment 
to  ruffle  his  temper  or  demeanour.  The  relations  between 
Versailles  and  St.  Germains  remained  without  a  cloud. 
Madame  de  Maintenon  declared  that  Heaven  had  inflicted 
these  troubles  on  their  poor  English  Majesties,  because  it 
wished  to  qualify  them  to  become  Saints. 

But  there  was  another  consequence  of  the  Hogue  defeat, 
which  was  not  altogether  disadvantageous  to  France.  It 
left  the  Irish  troops  free  to  be  employed  against  her  foes. 
The  English  expedition,  if  it  had  succeeded,  would  have 
deprived  her  of  the  new  auxiliaries  upon  which  she  was 
counting  so  much.  When  they  had  first  been  brigaded  in 
Brittany  it  was  proposed  to  employ  them  on  the  southern 
frontier,  and  in  garrison  work  generally,  but  when  the 
camp  broke  up  at  La  Hogue  it  was  too  late  in  the  summer 

THE   IRISH   ARRIVE    IN    FRANCE         307 

to  march  troops  across  France.  Certain  detachments  were 
sent  to  reinforce  the  troops  in  Savoy  and  Roussillon ;  and 
specific  mention  is  made  of  forty-seven  Irish  officers,  under 
Colonel  Reynolds,  proceeding  to  Savoy  to  join  the  Talbot 
regiment.  These  were  to  form  the  third  battalion  of  the 
regiment,  which  was  really  the  O'Brien  or  Clare  regiment,  of 
which  Colonel  Richard  Talbot  had  the  temporary  command. 
The  French  practice  of  the  time  was  to  name  a  regiment 
after  its  colonel,  which  led  to  much  confusion  in  distin- 
guishing between  the  Irish  corps.  Colonel  La  Rue  was  also 
sent  with  eighty  of  the  Foot  Guards  to  Roussillon  to  join 
Mountcashell,  who  was  still  serving  with  Noailles. 

But  the  bulk  of  the  troops  marched  into  Flanders  to  join 
the  army  of  Luxemburg,  which  was  opposed  by  the  main 
Anglo-Dutch  army  under  William  in  person.  The  Duke  of 
Berwick  had  not  waited  long  after  the  naval  fight  to  proceed 
to  the  scene  of  action.  He  had  served  as  a  volunteer  on 
Luxemburg's  staff  in  1691,  and  had  distinguished  himself  at 
the  siege  of  Mons.  He  was  sure  of  a  hearty  welcome,  for  he 
had  gained  Luxemburg's  esteem  by  his  attention  to  his 
duties  as  much  as  by  his  good  looks.  Berwick  probably 
suggested  that  it  would  not  be  a  bad  thing  to  bring  the 
Irish  troops  from  Normandy  and  thus  secure  a  numerical 
preponderance  over  William.  In  the  course  of  July  the 
main  body  of  James's  own  army  in  name  had  joined  the 
French  operating  in  the  valley  of  the  Scheldt.  Sarsfield, 
Earl  of  Lucan,  was  given  the  rank  of  Marechal  de  Camp,  and 
Sheldon  and  Galmoye  that  of  Brigadier.  Part  of  the  force 
was  diverted  from  Flanders  to  join  the  French  army  on  the 
Moselle,  where  we  will  describe  some  of  their  deeds  a  little 
later  on.  Before  the  summer  of  1692  closed,  Irish  troops 
were  before  the  enemies  of  France  at  the  three  most 
menaced  points. 

Chapter  XIII 


A1UT  the  time  that  James  left  St.  Germains  for 
Normandy   King   Louis  was   making  his  own 
arrangements  to  take  the  field  in  Flanders  in 
person,  which  meant,  on  this  occasion  at  least, 
that  the  ladies  of  the  Court  were  to  go  with  him.    These 
preparations  required  time,  for  when  the  King  took  the 
field  all  the  household  troops  and  all  the  privileged  regi- 
ments had  to  accompany  him.     The  ensuing  campaign, 
which  was  signalised  by  the  capture  of  Namur,  was  com- 
monly spoken  of  as  the  "  campaign  of  the  ladies." 

At  that  moment  Louis  had  the  largest  force  he  had  ever 
assembled  together  in  one  place  in  Flanders,  and  with  the 
troops  he  brought  with  him  it  did  not  fall  short  of  150,000 
men.  Marshal  Luxemburg  was  in  command  of  the  army  of 
Flanders  assembled  round  Mons,  and  Marshal  BoufBers  of 
a  second  army,  with  its  head-quarters  at  Enghien.  The 
question  was  what  was  to  be  done  with  this  considerable 
force,  double  the  strength  of  the  hostile  army  lying  round 
Lambecq,  near  Brussels,  under  William  of  Orange  ? 

But  if  there  was  some  doubt  as  to  the  practical  course  to 
follow  there  was  none  as  to  the  parade.  Louis  left  for  the 
seat  of  war  on  May  10,  and  with  him  went  Madame  de 
Maintenon  and  the  Princesses.  Their  first  camp  in  the 
Netherlands  was  fixed  at  Mons,  and  as  the  left  wing  of 
Boufflers'  army  almost  touched  the  right  wing  of  Luxem- 
burg's, it  was  decided  to  pass  them  both  in  review  at  the 
same  time.  The  King  and  his  Court  drove  one  fine  morn- 



ing  along  the  front  of  the  two  armies,  drawn  up  for  the 
occasion,  and  covering  a  space  of  nine  miles.  The  review 
lasted  several  hours,  and  it  was  said  with  reason  that  the 
spectacle  was  magnificent.  It  only  remained  for  Louis  to 
render  the  event  memorable  in  history  by  undertaking  some 
enterprise  that  should  give  a  decisive  turn  to  the  war.  At 
the  least,  he  ought  to  have  expelled  William  of  Orange 
from  the  southern  or  Spanish  Netherlands.  But  Louis  was 
content  to  assign  it  a  more  modest  role.  For  a  Court  under 
canvas,  what  could  be  more  interesting  than  a  siege  ?  He 
decided  that  the  capture  of  Namur  would  be  a  sufficient 
return  for  all  his  effort  and  outlay. 

This  was  the  turning  period  when,  as  Marshal  Villars 
puts  it  in  his  Memoirs,  Louis,  abandoning  the  ideas  of  con- 
quest which  had  inspired  him  throughout  what  might  be 
called  the  grand  era,  confined  his  efforts  thenceforth  to  the 
preservation  of  his  own  frontiers.  He  was  content  if  he 
beat  those  hostile  armies  which  ventured  close  enough  to 
be  reached  without  too  fatiguing  an  effort,  and  having 
beaten  them  he  and  his  generals  uniformly  returned  to  the 
pleasures  of  the  table,  the  theatre,  and  games  of  chance. 
The  only  exception  to  this  general  rule  was  hard-working 
and  neglected  Catinat,  in  the  south-east  of  the  realm.  The 
worst  offender  was  Luxemburg,  who,  on  the  other  hand, 
was  the  greatest  tactician  on  the  field  of  battle  in  the 
French  army. 

Louis  and  the  army  subject  to  his  immediate  orders,  with 
Boufflers  as  adviser,  marched  to  Namur  and  sat  down  to 
besiege  it,  while  Luxemburg  drew  up  his  forces  round 
Gembloux  to  cover  its  operations.  As  there  was  not 
sufficient  accommodation  nearer  the  ladies  were  sent  to 
Dinant,  where  they  had  to  climb  four  hundred  steps  to 
reach  their  quarters  in  the  old  citadel  above  the  town. 
With  them  the  campaign  soon  ceased  to  be  popular  ;  but 
Louis  had  thrown  himself  into  the  siege  of  Namur  with 
full  ardour,  and  under  the  eyes  of  their  King  the  French 
troops  surpassed  themselves.  He  had  at  his  side  one  of 

310          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

his  wisest  counsellors  in  Vauban,  a  man  of  clear  vision,  free 
of  prejudice,  and  full  of  resource. 

While  the  Maison  du  Roi  talked  of  storming  the  citadel 
in  their  shirt  sleeves,  Vauban  would  not  allow  the  fortress 
to  be  attacked  until  he  had  first  captured  the  town,  and 
having  captured  the  town  he  proceeded  to  assail  the  fort- 
ress by  all  the  rules  of  sap  and  mine. 

After  twenty-seven  days  of  open  trenches  the  citadel  sur- 
rendered on  June  30,  1692,  and  the  following  day  the 
garrison,  two  thousand  strong,  marched  out  under  the 
command  of  the  Prince  Barbancon  (Duke  d'Arenberg),  who 
commanded  the  defence.  On  the  same  day  Berwick  arrived 
in  the  French  camp  from  Normandy.  Having  captured 
Namur,  a  place  which  had  the  reputation  of  never  having 
been  taken,  Louis  returned  to  France.  He  was  visited  at 
Versailles  on  his  return  by  James,  on  July  16,  which  fixes  the 
date  of  his  arrival.  The  King's  achievement  in  capturing 
the  virgin  fortress  at  the  junction  of  the  Sambre  and  Meuse 
was  celebrated  in  a  poor  ode  by  the  Court  poet  Boileau. 

William  of  Orange  was  greatly  irritated  by  the  loss  of 
Namur,  and  drew  his  army  to  a  head  in  a  strongly  situated 
camp  at  Tubize,  near  Hal.  Luxemburg  concentrated  his 
forces  at  Steinkerk,  near  Enghien.  The  country  intervening 
between  the  two  camps  was  very  undulating,  thickly  set 
with  hedgerows  and  not  at  all  favourable  for  the  style  of 
fighting  general  in  that  age,  which  was  one  of  set  forma- 
tions. The  opinion  in  the  French  camp  was  therefore  that 
there  would  be  no  encounter,  and  probably  there  would 
not  have  been  any  if  William  had  not  been  so  exasperated 
by  the  loss  of  Namur,  and  if  an  accident  had  not  thrown 
what  seemed  a  good  chance  in  his  way  of  surprising  the 
French  army. 

Luxemburg  had  a  well-placed  spy  in  the  camp  of  the 
Allies.  The  secretary  and  head  musician  of  the  Elector  of 
Bavaria  was  in  his  pay,  and  sent  him  notes  regularly  at  short 
intervals.  He  was  an  excellent  spy,  but  he  had  the  bad 
habit  of  writing  too  often,  and  on  a  certain  day  one  of  his 


letters  miscarried  and  came  into  the  Elector's  hands.  While 
some  were  for  stringing  up  the  traitor  without  more  ado, 
William  thought  it  wiser  to  make  a  final  use  of  him  before 
consigning  him  to  his  fate.  He  was  compelled  to  write  a 
letter  to  Luxemburg  informing  him  that  on  the  following 
morning  William  intended  to  lead  out  a  foraging  party  in 
the  direction  of  the  French  camp,  but  that  it  would  be 
nothing  more  than  a  foraging  party.  Luxemburg  received 
the  letter  and  accepted  the  statement  without  hesitation, 
and  when  early  in  the  morning  the  news  came  that  the 
enemy  was  visible  in  the  neighbourhood  of  his  camp  he 
vowed  that  he  had  a  most  excellent  spy  and  turned  over  in 
his  bed  to  sleep  again. 

But  not  many  minutes  elapsed  before  other  messengers 
arrived  with  the  intelligence  that  the  enemy — horse,  foot, 
and  guns — were  coming  on,  and  finally  all  room  for  doubt 
was  removed  by  the  information  that  the  Bourbonnais 
Brigade,  holding  an  advanced  position,  had  been  over- 
whelmed by  superior  numbers  and  was  retiring  with  the 
loss  of  its  seven  guns.  By  this  time  the  Marshal  was  not 
merely  wide  awake,  but  fully  alive  to  the  situation.  It 
was  said  that  his  genius  only  revealed  itself  when  he  was  in 
a  serious  difficulty,  and  certainly  he  had  never  been  in  a 
worse  difficulty  in  his  life.  The  crisis  required  a  desperate 
move,  and  he  made  it. 

The  Household  troops  of  France,  including  the  Maison 
du  Roi  and  the  Palace  Guards  of  the  Louvre,  had  remained, 
after  Louis's  return  to  Paris,  with  the  idea  of  seeing  the 
end  of  the  campaign.  The  celebrated  mousquetaires  were 
there  under  the  leading  of  the  young  Due  de  Chartres, 
famous  long  afterwards  as  the  Regent  Orleans.  They 
turned  out  at  the  final  alarm,  half  dressed,  with  lace  collars 
unfastened,  but  armed  and  mounted.  The  ancient  chivalry 
of  France,  the  noblest  names  in  the  French  livre  d'or,  were 
there  ready  for  the  fray  and  keen  to  be  led  at  once  against 
the  presumptuous  foe  who  had  broken  in  upon  them,  and 
at  their  head  was  the  King's  nephew.  Luxemburg  was  in 

312          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

a  dilemma,  but  at  his  elbow  he  saw  the  means  to  extricate 
himself,  and  he  never  hesitated,  although  he  knew  that 
many  great  people  at  Court  would  have  to  wear  mourning 
for  that  day's  work.  To  that  peerless  cavalry,  with  horses 
straining  at  the  bit,  he  merely  waved  his  sword  and  shouted  : 
",Go!"  (Enavant!) 

William's  troops,  emboldened  by  their  success  over  the 
Bourbonnais  Brigade,  were  coming  on  in  full  confidence  of 
an  easy  success  when  this  whirlwind  of  French  horsemen 
burst  in  amongst  them.  Many  bit  the  dust,  but  the 
majority  simply  turned  about  and  fled.  The  guns  were 
recovered,  the  camp  restored,  and  an  hour  after  Luxem- 
burg awoke  to  the  situation  the  two  armies  had  reoccupied 
their  first  positions.  But  the  battle  was  far  from  over,  it 
was  only  entering  upon  its  second  phase.  The  Duke  of 
Wurtemberg  was  at  the  front  in  command  of  twenty-two 
English  and  Danish  battalions  of  infantry.  With  him  were 
the  best  of  William's  English  officers,  Lanier  and  Mackay, 
Tollemache  and  Mount  joy.  They  were  in  full  belief  that 
the  Dutch  close  behind  them  under  Count  Solmes  would 
come  forward  to  their  support,  and  that  behind  him  in 
turn  was  William,  who  would  not  fail  them.  Whatever  the 
explanation,  the  Dutch  failed  to  join  in.  Solmes  did  not 
advance,  and  the  comment  attributed  to  him — "  Let  us 
see  how  the  bulldogs  fight  to  the  death  " — was  in  harmony 
with  his  character.  William  sent  orders  to  the  hotly 
engaged  force  to  retire.  The  Dutch  Prince  had  enjoyed 
some  popularity  with  his  English  soldiers  before  the  battle  ; 
after  Steinkerk  none  spoke  well  of  him. 

The  following  description  of  the  fight  by  the  young 
Count  de  Merode-Westerloo,  subsequently  Field-Marshal — 
of  which  family  the  Colonel  Merode,  in  Lauzun's  Brigade, 
was  a  scion — gives  a  very  good  idea  of  what  took  place  : — 

"  Nous  etions  dans  le  camp  ennemi  avec  un  corps 
d'Armee  considerable,  et  faute  d'etre  soutenus  comme  on 
en  avait  le  temps  et  les  moyens  nous  nous  laissions  repousses 
et  nous  nous  retirames.  Le  feu  fut  terrible,  la  cavalerie 


n'agit  pas  de  tout  et  celui  qui  essuya  tout  le  feu  fut  le  Due 
de  Wurtemberg  qui,  commandant  les  22  bataillons  d'in- 
fanterie  qui  donnent,  souffrait  beaucoup,  et  fait  des 
miracles.  Ce  fut  toute  1'infanterie  anglaise  et  danoise  que 
ce  Due  commandait  qui  eut  a  mordre.  Je  fus  envoye  au 
Due  de  Wurtemberg  par  le  roi  Guillaume  pour  le  faire 
retirer.  II  enrageait  et  moi  aussi,  tout  jeune  que  j'etais,  de 
voir  que  1'on  avait  perdu  le  temps  si  mal  a  propos." 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  William's  attack  failed  because  he 
did  not  know  how  to  turn  the  opportunity  to  the  best 
account ;  but  perhaps  his  greatest  fault  was  in  stationing 
himself  too  far  from  the  front.  So  much  time  was  wasted 
in  taking  him  the  news  and  bringing  back  his  orders  that 
the  opportunity  of  doing  something  decisive  was  never 
forthcoming.  His  best  course,  under  the  circumstances, 
was  to  recall,  as  he  tried  to  do,  the  Duke  of  Wurtemberg  ; 
but  that  was  no  excuse  for  his  not  covering  the  retirement 
of  the  English  regiments  by  advancing  with  the  Dutch 
infantry.  He  seems  to  have  excused  himself  by  alleging 
that  the  delayed  arrival  of  his  right,  which  was  to  have 
attacked  the  French  left  at  daybreak,  had  upset  all  his 
plans.  This  admission  tends  to  corroborate  the  Duke  of 
Berwick's  view  of  the  battle,  as  expressed  in  the  following 
extract  from  his  Memoirs  : — 

"  The  Prince  of  Orange  committed  two  great  faults  that 
day.  The  first  was  not  attacking  our  left  at  the  same  time 
as  our  right,  for  he  could  not  expect  to  beat  a  whole  army 
in  one  point.  The  second  was  in  not  having  fresh  troops 
ready  to  support  those  that  began  the  attack.  If  he  had 
done  this  I  do  not  know  what  might  have  been  the  conse- 
quence, but  I  have  been  assured  that  during  the  action  the 
Prince  remained  at  a  great  distance  without  making  any 
motion  or  giving  any  order,  though  the  general  officers 
were  every  moment  sending  to  him  for  assistance." 

It  was  fortunate  for  William  that  the  country  north  of 
Steinkerk  was  so  unsuitable  for  operations,  because  Marshal 
Boufflers,  hearing  the  heavy  firing,  hastened  to  his  col- 


league's  aid,  and  before  the  combat  closed  came  into  con- 
tact with  the  left  of  the  Allies.  Feuquieres,  in  criticising 
this  action,  admits  that  Luxemburg  could  not  follow  up  his 
success,  which  was  not  the  view  generally  held  in  Paris,  and 
as  Feuquieres  was  a  captious  critic  the  obstacles  in  the  path 
of  the  French  Marshal  must  have  been  great. 

The  most  remarkable  circumstance  in  connection  with 
the  defeat  at  Steinkerk  was  the  increase  it  brought  to  the 
reputation  of  English  troops  for  valour  and  steadiness.  It 
was  the  first  pitched  battle  in  which  they  had  taken  part  on 
the  Continent  since  the  battle  of  the  Spurs,  in  the  reign  of 
Henry  VIII.  Detachments  had  done  very  well  in  the  days 
of  Elizabeth  and  Cromwell,  but  Wurtemberg's  English 
force  might  be  described  without  exaggeration  as  an  army. 
The  valour  and  resolution  it  displayed  when  practically 
abandoned  by  all  its  allies  except  the  Danes,  and  attacked 
by  the  choicest  French  troops  in  far  superior  numbers, 
formed  an  appropriate  opening  to  the  reappearance  of 
English  troops  on  the  Continent  in  a  victorious  role.  Vic- 
tory was  not  to  come  till  a  still  remote  future,  but  Stein- 
kerk was  a  good  forewarning  of  Blenheim. 

The  French  reports  state  that  the  English  and  Danish 
Guards  were  practically  annihilated.  Mackay  was  killed, 
Mountjoy,  only  a  few  months  out  of  the  Bastille,  was  killed  ; 
Lanier,  severely  wounded,  died  of  his  wounds.  Three 
thousand  English  and  Danish  troops  were  killed,  as  many 
more  were  wounded,  while  about  two  thousand  of  the 
other  Allies  were  placed  bors  de  combat.  The  French,  on 
their  side,  admitted  a  loss  of  6500  men  in  killed  and  wounded. 

The  Irish  troops  present  at  Steinkerk  were  in  the  left 
wing  of  Luxemburg's  army,  but  the  cavalry  was  in  the 
centre,  and  some  part  of  it  at  least  took  part  in  the  charge 
of  the  Household  troops.  There  is  no  specific  reference  to 
the  Irish  in  Luxemburg's  report,  and,  indeed,  it  was  not 
until  a  later  period  that  French  commanders  (Catinat  and 
Noailles  always  excepted)  got  in  the  habit  of  rendering 
justice  to  the  Irish  troops.  This  was  due  not  to  jealousy, 


but  to  ignorance  of  the  English  language  and  names,  and 
also  to  the  fact  that  in  these  great  battles  the  Irish  con- 
tingent, owing  to  its  being  so  dispersed  by  the  French 
authorities,  formed  only  a  small  part  of  the  forces  under 
the  French  Marshals.  But  the  chief  reason  for  silence  about 
the  Irish  troops  at  Steinkerk  was  that,  being  stationed  on 
the  left  of  the  army,  they  were  not  closely  engaged. 

But  if  Luxemburg  was  silent  about  the  Irish  troops  he 
spoke  out  loudly  in  praise  of  two  of  their  commanders, 
Berwick  and  Sarsfield,  and  the  praise  of  Sarsfield  is  all  the 
more  remarkable  and  generous  because  he  had  only  known 
him  a  few  weeks  before  the  battle. 

Of  Berwick,  who  had  served  through  the  campaign  of 
1691,  he  wrote  :  "  The  Duke  of  Berwick  was  with  me 
throughout  the  action,  and  behaved  as  bravely  as  in  the 
last  campaign,  of  which  I  informed  your  Majesty  at  the 

Of  Sarsfield  he  wrote  :  "  The  Earl  of  Lucan  was  also 
with  me,  and  his  courage  and  intrepidity,  of  which  he  had 
given  proof  in  Ireland,  were  very  noteworthy.  I  can  assure 
your  Majesty  that  he  is  a  very  good  and  capable  officer." 
Luxemburg's  appreciation  of  Sarsfield's  capacity  is  perhaps 
the  surest  test  of  his  real  merit. 

In  accordance  with  the  usages  of  war  on  the  grand  scale 
at  that  epoch,  Luxemburg  having  thrashed  his  enemy  in  a 
good  stand-up  fight,  thought  he  had  done  enough  for  that 
year,  and  kept  to  his  camp.  It  was  said  of  him  that  he 
generally  pitched  it  in  a  locality  where  poultry  was  plentiful 
and  the  veal  known  to  be  tender,  and  if  there  were  also 
agreeable  ladies  at  the  place  so  much  the  better.  But  al- 
though nothing  was  to  be  attempted  against  William,  there 
were  rumours  of  a  German  diversion  from  Luxemburg  into 
the  Ardennes,  of  which  Marshal  Lorges,  operating  on  the 
Rhine,  had  sent  him  warning.  The  following  incident  is 
specially  interesting,  as  it  gave  the  Irish  cavalry  an  oppor- 
tunity of  distinguishing  itself. 

The  Marquis  d'Harcourt  was  accordingly  detached  by 

3i6          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Luxemburg  in  September,  with  a  flying  camp  beyond 
Namur,  with  orders  to  watch  the  enemy  if  he  advanced 
west  of  the  Ourthe.  Harcourt,  making  his  head-quarters 
at  Marche,  threw  out  his  picquets  as  far  as  La  Roche  and 
Tenneville.  The  enemy  determined  to  surprise  his  out- 
posts, and  with  that  view  a  cavalry  force  of  4000  men, 
representing  thirty  squadrons,  suddenly  appeared  in  the 
Ourthe  valley.  Harcourt,  a  man  of  resource  as  well  as 
courage,  got  his  troops  in  hand  very  quickly  and  opposed 
the  enemy  with  twenty-six  squadrons.  Among  these  were 
the  two  troops  of  Irish  Horse  Guards,  the  two  Irish  cavalry 
regiments  known  as  the  King's  and  the  Queen's,  and  at 
least  the  two  French  Dragoon  regiments  of  Asfeld  and  De 
Rannes.  With  this  force  he  crossed  the  Ourthe  near 
Raumont  a  Pic  and  at  once  charged  the  enemy,  who  was 
unprepared  for  such  vigorous  measures. 

Harcourt  led  the  charge  himself  at  the  head  of  Berwick's 
troop,  and  Lord  Lucan's  troop  was  led  by  his  lieutenant, 
Major-General  de  St.  Fremont,  and  the  other  regiments 
followed  in  support.  The  Germans  were  routed  and  pur- 
sued for  six  miles,  losing  nearly  500  killed  and  200  prisoners. 
The  report  of  the  encounter  states  that  "  the  King  of 
England's  Guards,  and  the  Irish  regiments  greatly  dis- 
tinguished themselves."  The  French  loss  was  not  heavy. 
The  only  officer  killed  was  Matthias  Barnewall,  Lord  Trim- 
lestown.  There  still  exists  in  the  little  churchyard  of 
Tenneville  a  scarcely  legible  stone  to  his  memory,  but  it  is 
curious  to  note  that  it  is  always  spoken  of  in  the  neighbour- 
hood as  that  of  an  English  officer  killed  fighting  the  French  ! 
Lord  Trimlestown  was  only  a  little  over  twenty-one  at  the 
time  of  his  death,  and  both  in  Ireland  and  in  France  the 
French  authorities  always  spoke  of  him  as  a  man  of  promise. 

A  certain  number  of  the  Irish  troops — all  infantry — were 
sent  from  Normandy  to  join  the  French  army  operating 
round  Spires  under  Marshal  Lorges,  one  of  the  three  Duras 
brothers.  A  supporting  force  was  stationed  on  the  Moselle 
under  Marquis  d'Huxelles,  and  the  Irish  were  sent  in  the 


first  place  to  reinforce  him.  Soon  after  their  arrival  General 
Feuquieres  succeeded  to  the  command,  and  under  his 
orders  the  Irish  took  a  prominent  part  in  the  capture  of 
Thionville  or  Diedenhoven.  From  Thionville  they  marched 
to  take  part  in  the  siege  of  Spires,  where  they  specially  dis- 
tinguished themselves,  losing  two  officers  in  the  final  attack 
on  the  place. 

In  Italy  the  French  army  under  Catinat  had  to  evacuate 
Piedmont  owing  to  the  great  increase  in  the  number  of  the 
Imperial  troops  sent  to  assist  the  Duke  of  Savoy.  These 
were  not  merely  brought  from  Hungary,  where  the  pres- 
sure from  the  Turks  had  been  much  relieved,  but  included 
a  strong  contingent  of  Huguenot  regiments  in  the  Prussian 
service ;  and  an  English  regiment  or  two  under  the  com- 
mand of  Charles,  Duke  of  Schomberg,  came  later  on. 
Catinat  retired  as  slowly  as  possible,  with  the  view  of 
losing  but  little  ground  before  winter  should  end  the  cam- 
paign. With  him  it  was  a  matter  of  vital  necessity,  there- 
fore, that  all  the  passes  into  Upper  Savoy  should  be  held  to 
the  very  last  moment.  He  relied  for  this  on  the  Irish  con- 
tingent and  local  levies,  while  he  kept  his  French  troops 
concentrated  under  his  own  command. 

Catinat  had  repeatedly  asked  for  reinforcements,  but 
Louis  had  none  to  send  him  except  the  Irish.  In  1692  he 
got  Maxwell's  and  Carroll's  foot  dragoons.  He  received  the 
3rd  battalions  of  the  Clare  and  Dillon  regiments,  freshly 
created.  Finally,  he  got  the  Athlone  regiment  from  Nor- 
mandy. He  had  also  some  of  the  best  Irish  officers,  Lords 
Kilmallock  and  Clare,  Maxwell,  Wauchope,  Talbot,  Carroll, 
Charles  O'Brien,  and  Edward  Scott.  But  for  these  men 
Catinat  would  have  been  swept  out  of  Savoy  as  well  as 
Piedmont  in  1692. 

Prince  Eugene  led  the  force  that  was  to  get  into  Savoy 
before  Catinat  and  cut  him  off.  He  was  in  a  desperate 
hurry  and  not  in  a  mood  to  put  up  with  obstacles.  He 
reached  Guillestre,  a  miserable  little  place  with  no  preten- 
sion to  a  fortress — "  qui  ne  vaut  rien,"  as  Catinat  wrote — 

318          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

but  held  by  two  companies  of  the  Clare  regiment  and  600 
militia  of  Dauphine,  under  Chalandieres.  Prince  Eugene 
demanded  its  immediate  surrender,  threatening  to  hang 
every  man  in  the  place  if  they  attempted  a  futile  resistance. 
He  was  told  to  do  his  worst,  and  his  first  attack  was  repulsed. 
Schomberg  seems  to  have  led  the  assaulting  party  which 
failed,  but  Guillestre  was  surrounded  by  houses  which  com- 
manded the  interior  of  the  place  and  was  quite  untenable. 
After  holding  out  for  three  days  the  garrison  capitulated 
on  honourable  terms,  being  interned  in  Piedmont. 

The  Irish  were  not  present  in  the  defence  of  the  pass  of 
Cabre,  between  Valence  and  Sisteron,  by  the  heroic  Mdlle. 
de  la  Charce,  who  was  rewarded  by  Louis  with  a  colonel's 
pension  in  the  following  year.  But  they  took  the  most 
prominent  part  in  the  defence  of  St.  Clement  and  Embrun, 
which  so  retarded  the  enemy's  advance  that  he  was  unable 
to  accomplish  anything  more  in  1692. 

The  defence  of  Embrun  by  Catinat's  best  lieutenant,  the 
Marquis  de  Larray,  was  the  most  important  of  these  minor 
incidents.  The  bulk  of  the  garrison  under  him  consisted  of 
six  companies  of  the  Clare  regiment,  and  he  held  the  place 
for  three  weeks  against  all  Eugene's  attacks.  Before  he 
could  attack  Embrun  Eugene  had  to  carry  the  bridge  of 
St.  Clement,  which  was  defended  by  two  companies  of  the 
same  regiment.  They  delayed  the  Imperialists  long  enough 
to  enable  Larray  to  complete  his  defences  at  Embrun. 
Embrun  itself  held  out  for  three  weeks,  to  the  great  delight 
and  relief  of  Catinat  at  so  much  valuable  time  being  gained. 
It  may  be  mentioned  that  among  the  French  officers  killed 
in  Embrun  was  the  Marquis  d'Amanze,  who  had  fought  in 
Ireland.  It  then  surrendered  on  honourable  terms,  the 
garrison  being  allowed  to  retire  to  Grenoble,  on  the  con- 
dition that  it  was  not  to  serve  again  during  that  year's 
campaign.  Larray  himself,  and  four  aides-de-camp,  were 
to  be  considered  exempted  from  this  condition. 

In  his  report  to  Catinat  Larray  gives  their  full  due  to  the 
Irish  troops,  and  singles  out  Sir  Edward  Scott,  who  had 


defended  Kingsale  so  well  in  1690,  for  special  praise.  "  M. 
Scott,  Lieut. -Colonel  du  regiment  irlandais  de  Clancarty 
(really  Clare)  m'a  ete  d'un  tres  grand  secours  tant  par  sa 
capacite  que  par  sa  vigilance  continuelle.  Le  capitaine  des 
grenadiers  de  ce  regiment-la  s'est  aussi  extremement  dis- 
tingue !  " 

The  captain  referred  to  killed  seven  of  the  enemy  with 
his  own  hand.  Louis's  recognition  of  these  deeds  was  of  a 
material  character.  In  compliance  with  Catinat's  request 
he  wrote  giving  orders  that  "  the  Irish  troops  in  Savoy  were 
to  be  provided  with  shoes  free,  as  they  received  only  la. 
petite  solde"  Before  the  campaign  of  1692  ended  Catinat 
was  further  reinforced  by  the  two  battalions  of  the  Limerick 
regiment  under  Colonel  Richard  Talbot.  Owing  to  the 
comparatively  small  French  army  employed  in  this  quarter 
and  the  proportionally  large  Irish  contingent,  the  Irish 
Brigade  had  a  far  better  chance  of  gaining  distinction  and 
recognition  in  the  Italian  campaign  than  in  Flanders. 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  French  authorities  were  very 
disappointed  that  the  campaign  of  1692  waged  in  four 
separate  fields  had  not  given  more  tangible  results.  In  the 
Netherlands,  with  no  inconsiderable  loss  to  the  victors,  a 
fortress  had  been  captured  and  a  barren  victory  gained.  In 
Catalonia  Noailles  was  marking  time  ;  in  Germany  Lorges 
had  advanced  a  little  further  from  his  base  into  a  country 
too  poor  at  that  time  to  feed  his  army ;  and  in  Italy 
Catinat  was  fighting  a  retreating  battle.  These  were  but 
poor  results  for  the  enormous  outlay  in  men  and  money  td 
which  the  King  of  France  stood  committed.  Louis  was 
not  blind  to  the  situation.  His  Ministers,  even  Barbezieux, 
Louvois'  son,  who  was  not  seventeen,  as  Macaulay  states, 
but  twenty-four  when  he  succeeded  his  father  as  Minister 
in  attendance,  were  not  blind  to  the  facts.  It  was  admitted 
on  all  sides  that  France  must  make  a  supreme  effort,  in 
1693,  to  crush  finally  one  or  other  of  her  antagonists  and  to 
pierce  the  ring  by  which  she  was  encircled. 

In  the  prescribed  manner  the  month  of  March,  1693,  saw 

320          THE   BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

the  nominations  to  the  different  high  commands  in  the 
army  for  the  coming  campaign,  and  from  the  imposing  list 
of  names  we  need  only  take  those  of  the  Duke  of  Berwick  as 
Lieut. -General,  Sarsfield,  Earl  of  Lucan,  as  Marechal  de 
Camp,  Dominic  Sheldon  as  Brigadier  of  Cavalry,  and  John 
Wauchope  as  Brigadier  of  Infantry.  The  first  three  were 
to  serve  with  Luxemburg  ;  the  last-named  with  Catinat. 
Very  shortly  after  these  nominations  it  became  known  that 
Louis  intended  to  take  the  field  again  in  person,  but  as  he 
was  set  on  sterner  work  than  a  siege  he  left  the  ladies  of  his 
Court  behind  him.  Perhaps  also  the  tiring  ascent  to  the 
Citadel  of  Dinant  had  satisfied  their  love  for  active  cam- 
paigning. The  Maison  du  Roi  and  all  the  privileged  troops, 
however,  went  with  him. 

Of  all  the  armies  in  the  field  it  was  decided  that  that 
under  Noailles  might  be  weakened  with  the  least  amount  of 
evil  consequences,  and  he  was  ordered  to  send  his  Irish 
regiments  to  Savoy.  With  these  and  the  others — the 
Limerick  regiment  among  them — which  had  reached  him 
too  late  in  1692  for  active  participation  in  the  war,  it  was 
believed  that  Catinat  would  be  able  to  hold  his  own.  He 
had  too  few  friends  at  Court  to  expect  a  generous  response 
to  his  own  demands,  and  he  of  all  the  commanders  was  the 
one  always  required  to  give  the  greatest  results  with  the 
very  smallest  resources  and  the  most  grudging  aid.  There 
was  no  intention  in  the  first  place  to  swell  the  army  on  the 
Rhine.  Lorges  and  his  lieutenants  were  to  do  the  best  they 
could.  The  plan  for  the  year  was  to  throw  an  overwhelming 
force  into  the  Netherlands,  to  raise  the  two  armies  of 
Luxemburg  and  BoufHers  to  the  greatest  possible  strength, 
and  to  finish  once  and  for  all  with  William  of  Orange.  It 
was  an  excellent  plan,  and  the  means  of  carrying  it  out  were 
available.  All  that  had  to  be  done  was  to  adhere  to  the  plan 
and  not  to  change  one's  mind. 

It  was  on  this  understanding  that  Louis  went  to  Belgium, 
pitching  his  own  royal  camp  with  that  of  the  right  army  com- 
manded by  Boufrlers,  whose  head-quarters  were  at  Namur. 


Each  of  the  French  armies  numbered  between  70,000  and 
80,000  men,  while  William  of  Orange  had  only  50,000  under 
his  orders.  He  occupied,  however,  a  very  strong  position  at 
Pare,  near  Louvain,  which  he  had  carefully  fortified. 
Strong  as  it  was,  he  would  have  had  no  choice  except 
retreat  if  the  two  French  armies  had  advanced  to  attack 
him.  He  admitted  this  to  his  friends ;  he  made  his  pre- 
parations to  retire  behind  the  Moerdyck. 

Louis  had  suffered  a  good  deal  from  gout  during  the 
previous  campaign,  and  in  order  that  he  might  be  sure  of 
fine  weather,  he  did  not  leave  Paris  till  the  end  of  May. 
On  arriving  in  the  camp  he  held  a  review  of  his  army  near 
Gembloux,  and  then  gave  himself  up  to  deliberate  discus- 
sions with  his  two  generals  as  to  what  should  be  done,  for 
Luxemburg  rode  over  whenever  he  was  summoned.  Dis- 
cussions with  the  Great  King  meant  acquiescing  in  his 
pleasure,  and  Luxemburg  was  notoriously  easy-going  and 
courtier-like.  Besides,  the  accepted  dogmas  were  that  the 
King  was  omnipotent,  his  arms  invincible.  The  minor 
arrangements  appeared  of  little  moment  when  the  final 
result  was  assured. 

It  was  written  of  an  earlier  King  of  France  that  he 
marched  a  large  army  up  a  hill  and  down  again.  Louis  did 
very  much  the  same  thing  in  1693.  Having  got  together  an 
enormous  force  for  the  purpose,  having  brought  it  within 
forty  miles  of  his  enemy,  Louis  did  not  proceed  to  over- 
whelm him.  He  suddenly  changed  his  mind  and  altered  the 
whole  plan  of  the  war.  He  decided  to  distribute  his  forces, 
to  detach  the  army  of  BoufHers,  or  the  bulk  of  it,  from  that 
of  Luxemburg,  and  to  send  it  under  a  new  commander-in- 
chief  in  the  person  of  the  Dauphin  (Monseigneur)  to  the 
Rhine.  At  least  60,000  French  troops  marched  out  of  the 
Netherlands  on  this  errand,  and  Louis  himself  returned  to 

This  sudden  departure  from  all  the  arrangements  that 
had  been  made  produced  an  immense  sensation,  and  at 
once  the  gossips  began  to  whisper  that  for  so  extraordinary  a 

322          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

decision  there  must  be  a  motive  quite  out  of  the  common. 
That  meretricious  and  malicious  chronicler  Saint  Simon, 
whose  role  was  to  know  more  than  every  one  else  by  reckless 
invention,  throws  the  whole  blame  on  Madame  de  Mainte- 
non,  who  wanted  the  King  back  at  Versailles.  The  story- 
has  been  reduced  to  fragments  by  the  authoritative  bio- 
grapher (Noailles)  of  Madame  de  Maintenon  and  later 
commentators.  But  it  was  perfectly  obvious  to  every  one, 
except  the  ill-natured  inventor  of  the  story,  that  in  order 
to  get  the  King  back  to  Paris  it  was  not  necessary  to  commit 
an  act  of  folly  with  regard  to  the  conduct  of  the  war.  If 
the  uncrowned  Queen  was  inconsolable  at  the  absence  of 
her  lord,  she  could  have  found  some  other  lure  to  call  him 
back,  or  she  could  have  joined  him  in  his  camp.  She  alone 
of  all  the  Court  ladies  in  1692  had  found  the  daily  ascent 
to  Dinant  citadel,  as  she  tells  her  correspondent  at  St.  Cyr, 
rather  amusing. 

Berwick,  equally  at  a  loss  with  the  rest  to  explain  this 
sudden  break-up  of  the  overwhelming  French  army,  states, 
philosophically,  that  it  could  only  be  accounted  for  by  the 
mysterious  and  inexplicable  decree  of  Providence. 

It  is  possible,  however,  to  give  some  intelligible  reasons 
for  Louis's  action  if  full  allowance  be  made  for  the  atmo- 
sphere in  which  he  lived  and  controlled  the  destinies  of 
France.  The  conduct  of  the  campaigns  which  signalised 
his  reign  passed  through  three  distinct  phases.  In  the  first 
phase  his  armies  were  led  by  generals,  who,  although  they 
might  be  princes  and  nobles,  were  still  trained  soldiers ;  in 
the  second  phase  courtiers  were  thought  competent 
enough  to  lead  his  armies ;  and  in  the  third  phase 
Louis  bethought  him  of  the  members  of  his  own 
family.  He  conceived  that  it  would  strengthen  the 
Royal  House  that  the  victorious  bulletins  should  bear  the 
signature  of  one  of  his  descendants.  A  first  step  had  been 
taken  in  this  direction  when  he  sent  his  son,  the  Dauphin, 
to  the  Rhine,  in  1690.  Its  more  important  sequel  was  the 
despatch  of  the  same  personage  to  the  same  scene  in  1693. 


An  easy  campaign  was  sketched  out  for  him  on  paper,  cul- 
minating in  a  signal  triumph  at  Heidelberg,  and  the  com- 
petent Boufflers  was  sent  with  him  to  see  that  the  Son  of 
France  did  not  come  to  much  harm. 

A  final  and  always  the  irresistible  motive  was  behind  this 
decision  in  that  curse  of  human  nature  called  jealousy, 
which  deposes  reason  and  renders  the  mind  oblivious  to 
all  other  considerations.  Louis  wished  to  augment  the 
glory  of  his  own  family,  but  he  did  not  include  the  House 
of  Orleans.  He  had  shown  this  when  he  refused  to  allow 
his  brother,  the  Due  d'Orleans  (Monsieur),  to  take  any 
further  part  in  the  wars  after  1677,  because  of  the  dis- 
tinction he  gained  by  defeating  William  of  Orange  during 
that  campaign.  And  now,  after  an  interval  of  fifteen  years, 
his  nephew,  the  Due  de  Chartres — the  same  brother's  son — 
had  also  covered  himself  with  glory  at  Steinkerk.  He  was, 
for  the  moment,  the  hero  of  France,  and,  besides,  he  was 
undoubtedly  a  young  man  of  the  most  brilliant  promise. 
This  elevation  of  the  Orleans  branch  was  not  in  accordance 
with  Louis's  idea  of  the  fitness  of  things.  The  balance  was 
to  be  adjusted  by  a  son  of  his  own  setting  France  a-talking, 
and  to  enable  this  dream  to  be  realised  he  drew  up  and 
sanctioned  the  programme,  for  the  summer  of  1693,  of  a 
promenade  of  triumph  beyond  the  Rhine. 

The  King  and  Boufflers  gone,  Luxemburg  moves  his 
army  eastwards,  and  takes  up  a  position  to  cover  the  siege 
of  Huy,  on  the  Meuse,  half-way  between  Namur  and 
Liege.  The  conduct  of  the  siege  itself  is  entrusted  to 
Villeroi,  the  most  incompetent  of  all  Louis's  courtier 
generals ;  but  the  siege  of  Huy  is  a  trivial  task  not  dispro- 
portionate to  his  intelligence.  Luxemburg  is  still  far 
superior  in  strength  to  William  of  Orange.  He  has  96 
battalions  and  210  squadrons  to  the  Dutch  Prince's  55 
battalions  and  150  squadrons.  Huy  surrenders  and  a  con- 
siderable part  of  the  French  army  is  left  there  under  the 
Marquis  d'Harcourt.  Luxemburg  moves  on  to  examine 
the  enemy's  position  near  Louvain,  and  decides  that  not- 


324          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

withstanding  his  numerical  superiority  it  is  too  strong  to 
be  attacked.  He  then  marches  eastwards  and  manoeuvres 
as  if  he  intended  to  attack  Maestricht.  William  quits  his 
fortified  camp  at  Pare,  and  following  on  a  parallel  line  the 
movements  of  the  French  Marshal,  reaches  Landen. 
Luxemburg,  having  achieved  what  he  wanted,  retraces  his 
steps,  and  draws  up  his  army  in  front  of  the  Anglo-Dutch 
army  on  July  28,  1693. 

William  had  ample  time  to  retreat,  and  if  he  had  been 
well  advised  he  would  have  done  so.  But  his  blood  is  up. 
He  has  felt  the  taunts  cast  at  him  for  his  cowardice  or  over- 
caution  at  Steinkerk.  He  occupies  an  admirable  position 
for  a  defensive  battle,  and  he  decides  to  fight  where  he 
stands.  The  battle  began  about  seven  in  the  morning  of 
July  29,  and  was  not  decided  till  late  in  the  afternoon. 
Steinkerk  was  a  foiled  surprise.  The  battle  of  Landen,  or 
Neerwinden,  was  the  fiercest  stand-up  fight  in  the  whole 
war.  Men  who  were  present  at  all  the  great  battles  of  the 
long  wars  from  1689  to  1712,  including  Blenheim,  declared 
that  there  was  no  struggle  to  compare  with  that  at  Landen 
until  the  day  of  Malplaquet. 

The  Irish  troops  present  at  this  battle  were  the  cavalry, 
who  had  served  the  previous  year,  the  Guard  regiment  under 
Dorington,  and  the  Dublin  regiment  under  Simon  Lutt- 
rell.  Sarsfield  was  Marechal  de  Camp  under  Lieut.-General 
Rubantel,  and  Dorington's  regiment  was  included  in  his 
force.  This  was  the  regiment  which  did  so  well  at  the 
Boyne  and  again  at  Aughrim.  It  was  now  in  front  of  the 
same  enemies,  for  to  it  was  confided  the  honour  of  leading 
the  attack  on  the  strongly  fortified  village  of  Neerwinden. 
With  Dorington  was  Colonel  John  Barrett,  one  of  the  un- 
fortunate prisoners  of  Cork  and  Bruges.  He  led  one  of  the 
Guard  battalions  into  action  and  was  killed  as  he  entered 
Neerwinden  at  its  head.  As  the  Duke  of  Berwick  was  one 
of  the  three  generals  who  directed  this  initial  movement, 
and  as  he  was  taken  prisoner,  it  may  be  as  well  to  quote  his 
account  in  the  first  place  : — 


"  Lieut.-Generals  de  Rubantel,  Montchevreuil,  and  my- 
self were  ordered  to  begin  the  attack  :  Rubantel  on  the 
entrenchment  to  the  right  of  Neerwinden  with  two 
brigades ;  Montchevreuil  on  the  left,  with  the  same  num- 
ber, and  I  on  the  village  with  two  other  brigades. 

"  The  village  projected  out  into  the  plain,  so  that  we  all 
three  marched  abreast  of  each  other.  I,  who  was  in  the 
centre,  attacked  first.  I  forced  the  enemy  to  give  way  and 
drove  them  from  hedge  to  hedge  as  far  as  the  plain,  at  the 
entrance  of  which  I  formed  again  in  order  of  battle.  The 
troops  which  were  destined  to  attack  on  the  right  and  left 
of  me,  instead  of  following  their  orders  thought  they 
would  be  less  exposed  to  the  enemy's  fire  by  throwing 
themselves  into  the  village,  by  which  means  they  got  at 
once  into  my  rear.  The  enemy,  perceiving  this  ill-con- 
ducted manoeuvre,  re-entered  the  village  by  the  right  and 
left ;  upon  which  a  terrible  fire  commenced  ;  the  four 
brigades  under  Rubantel  and  Montchevreuil  were  thrown 
into  confusion  and  driven  out  of  the  village,  and  in  con- 
sequence I  found  myself  attacked  on  all  sides.  After  having 
lost  a  prodigious  number  of  men  my  troops  likewise  aban- 
doned the  front  of  the  village,  and  while  I  was  endeavouring 
to  maintain  my  ground,  in  hopes  that  M.  de  Luxemburg, 
to  whom  I  had  sent,  would  advance  to  relieve  me,  I  found 
myself  at  last  completely  cut  off.  Seeing  this,  I  resolved 
to  escape  if  possible  by  the  plain,  and  having  taken 
out  my  white  cockade,  passed  for  an  officer  of  the 

"  Unfortunately  Brigadier  Churchill,  brother  to  Lord 
Churchill,  now  Duke  of  Marlborough,  and  my  uncle  came 
up,  and  recollecting  the  only  aide-de-camp  I  had  with  me 
suspected  immediately  that  I  might  be  there,  and  advancing 
to  me  made  me  his  prisoner.  After  mutual  salutations  he 
told  me  he  must  conduct  me  to  the  Prince  of  Orange. 
We  galloped  a  considerable  time  without  meeting  with 
him.  At  last  we  found  him  at  a  great  distance  from  the 
place  of  action,  in  a  bottom,  whence  neither  friends  nor 

326          THE    BATTLE    OF    THE   BOYNE 

enemies  were  to  be  seen.    The  Prince  made  me  a  very  polite 
compliment,  to  which  I  only  replied  by  a  low  bow.  .  .  . 

"  After  I  was  taken  Marshal  Luxemburg  made  another 
attack  and  got  possession  of  the  greater  part  of  the  village, 
but  was  very  near  being  dislodged  again  ;  at  last,  however, 
by  pouring  in  fresh  troops,  he  drove  the  enemy  quite  out, 
and  then,  assisted  by  the  fire  of  our  infantry,  caused  his 
cavalry  to  enter  the  entrenchments.  After  repeated  charges 
the  enemy  were  entirely  beaten  and  put  to  flight.  .  .  .  The 
enemy  lost  in  this  battle  near  twenty  thousand  men,  and  we 
at  least  eight  thousand." 

The  fight  for  the  possession  of  the  village  was  far  more 
protracted  and  bitter  than  might  be  gathered  from  Ber- 
wick's narrative.  Several  times  taken  by  the  French  and 
Irish  troops,  it  was  as  often  retaken  by  the  English  and  the 
Dutch,  and  after  five  hours'  fighting  it  was  still  held  by 
William's  forces.  Luxemburg  advanced  his  cavalry  up  to 
the  entrenchments  in  the  hope  of  unnerving  the  defenders 
by  so  imposing  a  display  of  horsemen,  but  the  demonstra- 
tion failed,  and  the  cavalry,  having  suffered  heavily,  had  to 
be  brought  back  to  wait  for  their  opportunity  later  on.  It 
was  in  the  closing  stage  of  the  battle  that  Sarsfield  received 
his  death  wound.  His  chief,  Rubantel,  was  already  severely 
wounded,  Montchevreuil  was  killed,  Berwick  a  prisoner, 
and  thus  Sarsfield  had  his  chance  of  coming  to  the  front, 
for  the  direction  of  the  attack  passed  into  his  hands.  It  was 
just  as  the  French  reinforcements  had  finally  made  their 
way  into  and  through  the  village,  and  the  supporting 
cavalry  following  in  their  track  had  reached  the  plain, 
stretching  northwards  of  it,  that  Sarsfield  was  struck  by  a 
bullet  in  the  breast.  He  was  conveyed  to  Huy,  where  he 
died  a  few  days  later. 

Of  Dorington  and  his  regiment,  led  by  himself  and 
Lieut. -Colonel  Michael  Roth,  after  Barrett's  death,  it  was 
said  by  a  historian  many  years  later  :  "  At  Landen  the  Irish 
Guards  avenged  the  affront  of  the  Boyne."  Many  of  the 
officers  and  men  were  killed.  Christopher  Nugent  was 


severely  wounded  in  four  places,  but  more  fortunate  than 
his  leader,  Sarsfield,  recovered  from  them. 

There  was  one  incident  connected  with  this  battle,  which 
raged  from  seven  in  the  morning  till  four  in  the  afternoon, 
that  deserves  mention.  The  Marquis  d'Harcourt  at  Huy, 
fifteen  miles  from  Landen,  hearing  the  firing  soon  after 
sunrise,  decided  at  once  to  move  in  its  direction,  and  set  off 
with  all  his  cavalry,  amounting  to  twenty-six  squadrons. 
It  is  probable  that  some  of  his  horsemen  were  the  Irish 
cavalry  which  had  taken  part  in  the  Ardennes  the  year 
before.  Harcourt  arrived  at  a  critical  moment  of  the 
battle,  and  his  cavalry  took  part  in  the  final  charges  beyond 
Neerwinden,  which  completed  the  overthrow  of  William's 
army.  The  French  triumph  was  incontestable  after  the 
capture  of  the  village.  The  Allies  lost,  by  the  French  com- 
putation, 20,000  killed  and  wounded,  and  by  their  own 
admission  12,000.  William  lost  over  a  hundred  cannon,  and 
eighty  standards  and  flags.  Luxemburg  sent  the  latter  to 
Paris  by  Brigadier-General  d'Artagnan  (afterwards  Marshal 
Montesquieu),  and  they  were  hung  up  in  Notre  Dame. 
Luxemburg  had  sent  so  many  trophies  of  the  kind  to  Paris 
that  he  was  called  "  le  tapissier  de  Notre  Dame." 

Two  incidents  connected  with  the  battle  just  described 
claim  our  notice.  The  first  is  the  death  of  Sarsfield,  who, 
whether  he  altogether  deserves  the  pre-eminence  or  not,  is 
considered  by  his  countrymen  Ireland's  greatest  hero.  The 
reader  will  not  have  forgotten  that  in  1689  D'Avaux  had 
written  of  him  that  he  had  more  influence  with  the  Irish 
people  than  all  the  others  put  together.  Yet  at  that  moment 
he  was  not  the  hero  of  Ballineedy.  Some  critics  have 
attempted  to  show  that  he  was  not  an  Irishman  in  blood, 
but  this  charge  is  so  easily  refutable  that  the  only  marvel  is 
that  it  should  ever  have  been  made.  His  mother,  Anne 
O'Mor  (or  Moore),  was  the  daughter  of  Rory  O'Mor  of  the 
Hills,  and  died  at  St.  Germains  many  years  after  her  famous 
son  was  killed. 

With  regard  to  his  military  merit  it  is  necessary  to  speak 

328          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

in  measured  terms,  for  he  never  led  an  army  in  the  field. 
But  there  need  be  no  hesitation  in  saying  that  he  was  a  good 
soldier,  and  Luxemburg's  praise  of  him  as  a  capable  officer 
after  but  a  brief  acquaintance  is  a  completely  convincing 
tribute  to  his  merit.  Berwick's  declaration  that  he  was  not 
a  general  is  merely  ill-natured  and  reposes  on  nothing. 
Military  science  in  his  day  consisted  of  set  rules  and  set 
formations.  The  order  of  battle  was  the  sine  qua  non  of  the 
French  martinet,  and  required  several  hours  to  put  in  effect. 
There  were  many  authorities  who  refused  to  recognise 
Steinkerk  as  a  battle  because  there  was  no  time  to  set  the 
troops  in  proper  array.  In  that  sense,  indeed,  Sarsfield  was 
not  a  general ;  none  of  the  Irish  officers  were  generals,  for 
they  had  no  such  training.  But  if  we  turn  to  the  less  pro- 
fessional side  of  war,  we  have  no  reason  for  diffidence.  In 
the  display  of  personal  courage,  in  the  capacity  to  raise 
courage  and  enthusiasm  in  others,  Sarsfield  shone  in  the 
first  rank.  Not  merely  a  regiment  or  an  army,  but  an  en- 
tire people  saw  in  him  the  champion  of  its  cause,  the  em- 
bodiment of  its  national  qualities  and  its  most  passionate 
regrets.  Sarsfield  was  the  exponent  of  Irish  aspirations  in 
one  of  the  most  bitter  epochs  of  Anglo-Irish  history,  but 
after  Steinkerk  he  appeared  among  the  English  wounded 
and  prisoners  as  an  alleviator  and  friend.  It  was  one  of  the 
most  touching  incidents  in  a  feud  due  to  an  unfortunate 

The  disappearance  of  the  Irish  leaders  in  the  Jacobite 
movement,  which  was  more  or  less  complete  by  the  end  of 
the  war  of  the  Spanish  Succession,  may  be  said  to  have 
commenced  on  the  field  of  Landen,  where  Sarsfield  and 
Barrett  shed  their  blood  under  the  French  lilies.  They  had 
not  made,  they  never  could  have  made,  the  new  Ireland  of 
their  dreams ;  but  they  had  died  as  became  their  race  and 
their  reputation,  on  the  field  of  honour  for  a  great  King 
and  a  gallant  nation.  Frenchmen,  then  the  proudest  and 
most  exclusive  military  caste  on  the  Continent,  took  the  Irish 
into  their  brotherhood  of  the  sword,  and  they  did  so  only  be- 


cause  Sarsfield  and  the  men  who  went  into  exile  with  him 
established  their  claim  to  be  so  admitted  in  face  of  their 
foes.  The  Irish  mourned  the  death  of  Sarsfield  in  a  dirge 
that  has  become  known  all  over  the  world  : — 

"  Oh !  Patrick  Sarsfield,  Ireland's  Wonder, 
Who  fought  in  the  fields  like  Heaven's  thunder ! 
One  of  King  James's  chief  Commanders 
Now  lies  the  food  of  crows  in  Flanders. 
Oh  Hone  !     Oh  Hone  !  " 

The  second  incident  was  the  Duke  of  Berwick's  capture. 
We  have  quoted  his  interview  with  William  ;  but  the  Dutch 
Prince  was  in  a  sour  mood,  and  it  was  not  improved  by  the 
later  stages  of  the  battle.  He  ordered  his  officers  to  con- 
vey Berwick  to  Antwerp,  where  he  was  shut  up  in  the 
citadel,  and  he  talked  of  sending  him  over  to  the  Tower 
to  be  tried  for  high  treason.  He  affected  to  regard  the 
Duke  as  his  rebellious  subject !  William  had  never  been  a 
very  scrupulous  observer  of  the  cartel,  his  treatment  of  the 
Cork  prisoners  was  abominable,  but  he  was  exceeding  his 
power  in  his  proposed  method  of  dealing  with  Berwick,  and 
he  had  to  be  brought  sharply  to  his  senses. 

Berwick  was  a  Lieutenant-General  in  the  French  army. 
Among  the  prisoners  taken  by  the  French  was  the  Duke  of 
Ormonde.  By  the  cartel  Ormonde  would  have  been  sent 
back  after  the  battle,  but  as  Berwick  was  not  returned  the 
Duke  was  kept  as  a  hostage.  When  rumours  came  as  to 
William's  design  on  Berwick  he  was  warned  that  if  he  were 
harmed  reprisals  would  be  made  on  the  person  of  Ormonde. 
Moreover,  as  William  chose  to  break  the  cartel  he  must  sur- 
render General  Scravenmore,  another  prisoner  at  Landen 
who  had  been  released  before  the  retention  of  Berwick  was 
known.  William  had  gone  too  far ;  he  bit  his  lip  in 
characteristic  fashion,  and  Berwick  was  allowed  to  return  to 
the  French  army.  This  experience  may  have  helped  to 
confirm  Berwick's  inclination  to  become  a  French  subject 
by  a  formal  naturalisation,  which  he  did  a  few  years  later. 

Notwithstanding  the  completeness   of  this  victory,   its 

330          THE    BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

fruits  were  practically  nil.  Luxemburg  was  unable  to 
follow  it  up,  and  for  this  inaction  he  was  much  criticised. 
But  he  represented  that  he  had  no  provisions  and  no  horses, 
and  that  his  army  was  in  peril  of  starvation.  As  a  matter  of 
fact,  the  scene  of  war  had  been  shifted  to  one  of  the  least 
productive  regions,  at  that  period,  in  Belgium,  where  so 
considerable  an  army  as  that  under  Luxemburg  could  not 
be  fed  out  of  the  local  supplies.  It  was  entirely  different 
from  the  rich  and  well-cultivated  fields  of  Flanders  and 
Hainaut.  Luxemburg  very  wisely  determined  to  quit 
Limburg  and  to  return  to  his  original  positions  round 

His  decision  was  no  doubt  influenced  by  the  fact  that 
William  had  summoned  all  the  troops  that  he  could  get 
together  to  his  aid,  including  a  considerable  corps  com- 
manded by  the  Duke  of  Wurtemberg,  so  that  three  weeks 
after  the  battle  he  found  himself  at  the  head  of  a  larger 
army  than  the  one  he  had  fought  with.  Luxemburg,  re- 
solved to  give  Louis  some  definite  result  of  the  fighting 
before  the  year  closed,  undertook  the  siege  of  Charleroi, 
which  surrendered  on  October  13,  after  twenty-seven  days 
of  open  trenches.  Boisseleau,  the  defender  of  Limerick  in 
1690,  was  appointed  its  commandant. 

If  the  campaign  in  the  Netherlands  was  not  an  absolute 
triumph,  which  it  might  well  have  been  but  for  Louis's  de- 
cision to  divide  his  forces,  that  under  the  Dauphin  beyond 
the  Rhine  might  be  described  as  a  fiasco.  The  only  result 
was  the  plundering  of  Heidelberg,  which  had  been  pillaged 
by  a  French  army  four  years  before.  None  of  the  antici- 
pated combinations  came  off,  and  the  Dauphin  returned  to 
France  without  the  laurels  that  had  been  predicted  for 
him.  Boufflers  was  ordered  back  to  Flanders ;  the  ill- 
health  and  advancing  years  of  Luxemburg  seemed  to  call 
for  the  presence  of  a  younger  and  more  energetic  com- 

The  year  1693  was  not  to  close,  however,  without  a  more 
striking  military  success  for  French  arms  than  that  of 


Landen,  and  a  further  exhibition  of  the  courage  and 
devotion  of  the  Irish  Brigade  to  its  new  country. 

In  1690  the  arrival  of  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  in  Savoy- 
had  enabled  Catinat  to  call  up  Larray  and  win  the  battle 
of  Staff arde.  In  1692,  after  fighting  a  retreating  battle 
throughout  the  autumn,  Catinat  found  himself  reinforced 
by  a  strong  Irish  contingent,  which  did  not  total  less  than 
5600  infantry  and  1000  unmounted  dragoons.  The 
Dragoons  were  the  King  and  Queen  of  England's ;  the 
infantry  were  the  Queen's  regiment,  the  Limerick,  and  the 
O'Brien  of  Clare.  When  the  season  became  fit  for  cam- 
paigning, and  the  snow  had  melted  in  the  passes,  the  Duke 
of  Savoy  resumed  his  forward  movement  interrupted  at 
the  close  of  the  previous  year.  He  was  in  superior  force, 
but  Catinat  cantoned  round  Grenoble  was  calling  up 
levies  from  all  sides,  and  as  a  last  resource  had  summoned 
La  Hoguette  to  join  him  with  the  garrison  of  Lower  Savoy. 
He  was  also  getting  together  mules  and  other  means  of 
transport  from  Dauphine.  Thanks  to  his  having  with- 
drawn some  distance  from  the  Piedmontese  frontier,  his 
movements  were  well  screened,  and  the  Duke  of  Savoy  had 
no  suspicion  that  his  old  antagonist  was  making  every  effort 
to  resume  the  offensive. 

The  course  that  the  campaign  would  take  turned  very 
much  on  whether  the  French  could  successfully  hold  the 
advanced  posts  that  guarded  the  entrances  to  Savoy.  If 
these  were  carried  Catinat's  whole  position  would  be  com- 
promised, and  his  complete  concentration  would  be  ren- 
dered impossible.  The  most  important  of  these  places,  the 
pivot,  as  it  were,  of  the  whole  frontier  defence,  was  Pig- 
nerol,  the  charge  of  which  was  entrusted  to  Larray,  with  an 
adequate  Franco-Irish  garrison.  In  advance  of  Pignerol 
was  the  Fort  of  St.  Brigette.  This  was  held  by  four  com- 
panies of  the  Clare  regiment  under  Colonel  Scott,  and  an 
equal  number  of  the  French  regiment  of  Maine. 

At  the  end  of  July  the  Duke  of  Savoy  began  his  forward 
movement.  He  attempted  to  carry  St.  Brigette  by  storm, 

332          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE    BOYNE 

but  was  repulsed.  He  had  then  to  wait  some  days  for  his 
heavy  guns,  and  just  as  he  had  got  them  into  position  the 
garrison  quietly  slipped  out  and  made  its  way,  without  loss, 
into  Pignerol.  When  the  Duke  of  Savoy  came  in  sight  of 
this  place  he  realised  that  its  natural  strength  had  been 
increased  by  artificial  defences,  and  that  the  advantages  of 
a  difficult  position  had  been  turned  to  the  best  possible 
account.  Still,  if  he  was  to  transfer  the  war  from  Italy  to 
France,  and  to  recover  his  ducal  estates,  it  was  necessary  to 
get  possession  of  Pignerol  and  pass  on. 

Pignerol  was  besieged  in  form,  but  the  difficulties  were 
immense.  The  rock  was  too  hard  for  sapping  and  mining. 
The  batteries  had  to  be  placed  with  little  or  no  cover.  The 
fire  of  the  guns  from  the  town  proved  surprisingly  accurate 
and  vigorous.  After  a  few  weeks  the  Duke,  seeing  that  he 
was  not  likely  to  make  any  impression  in  a  reasonable  time, 
broke  up  his  camp  and  retreated  into  Piedmont.  He 
established  his  camp  on  the  banks  of  the  small  stream  called 
the  Marsaglia,  or  the  Marsaille.  As  he  was  still  far  superior 
in  numbers  to  any  force  that  Catinat  was  likely  to  be  able 
to  get  together,  he  waited  in  the  hope  that  the  French 
army  would  have  the  temerity  to  advance  and  give  him  the 
opportunity  of  dealing  it  a  heavy  blow.  There  was  one 
detail  that  the  Savoyard  had  overlooked.  His  own  move- 
ments in  the  plain  were  clearly  visible  to  the  French  general 
from  his  outposts,  whereas  those  of  the  French  general  him- 
self had  been  and  remained  screened  from  the  Duke. 

Unknown  to  the  Duke,  Catinat,  who  was  now  joined  by 
La  Hoguette,  had  got  together  a  larger  army  than  his  own. 
Such  a  contingency  had  never  been  conceived  to  be  possible, 
and  the  last  man  to  suspect  it  was  the  leader  of  the  allied 
forces.  Neither  the  Duke  nor  Prince  Eugene  imagined 
that  Catinat  would  succeed  in  arraying  against  them  in  the 
field  50,000  men  to  their  40,000.  They  did  not  believe 
that  he  could  get  the  men,  but  even  if  they  had  thought 
such  an  unlikely  thing  possible  they  would  have  felt  quite 
certain  that  he  could  never  provide  the  transport  to  enable 


it  to  descend  into  the  plains  of  Italy.  They  were  therefore 
quite  easy  in  their  minds  about  the  matter,  and  they 
pitched  their  camp  on  the  plain,  through  which  the  little 
stream  of  the  Marsaglia  flows  not  far  from  the  Alpine 
passes,  so  that  the  French  should  not  have  to  go  too  long  a 
journey  to  find  them.  And  at  last  it  was  reported  from  the 
outposts  that  the  French  columns  were  advancing  down 
the  mountain  slopes.  There  was  rejoicing  in  the  allied 
camp  at  the  sight,  but  it  was  only  for  a  brief  space. 

Owing  to  the  care  with  which  the  French  authorities  pre- 
served the  unit  of  measurement  in  the  intact  battalion  and 
squadron  it  was  quite  easy  for  the  expert  to  tell  within  a 
few  hundreds  the  strength  of  a  French  army  on  its  going 
into  battle.  As  the  Duke  and  Prince  Eugene  watched  the 
French  army  descending  to  the  plain  they  exclaimed  to- 
gether :  "  They  have  10,000  more  men  than  we  have  !  " 
Prince  Eugene  counselled  retreat,  and  there  was  time,  for 
the  battle  was  not  fought  till  the  day  after  the  first  appear- 
ance of  the  French  army.  But  the  Duke  displayed  more 
of  the  recklessness  than  the  caution  of  his  family,  and  de- 
cided to  make  a  stand,  although  both  knew  quite  well  that 
there  was  little  or  no  chance  of  a  victory  for  them.  The 
belief  that  "  God  fights  with  the  big  battalions,"  is  of 
older  date  than  the  Emperor  Napoleon. 

When  Catinat  saw  that  the  enemy  did  not  contemplate 
retreat  he  made  his  arrangements  for  the  attack  with 
greater  deliberation,  and  his  order  of  battle  was  prepared 
with  much  care.  Whether  it  was  at  their  own  request,  as 
some  say,  or  because  they  happened  to  be  in  the  van,  the 
Irish  infantry  were  selected  to  head  the  centre  attack.  The 
advance  was  made  over  one  mile  of  open  ground  exposed 
to  the  fire  from  the  enemy's  entrenchments.  The  Irish 
are  reported  to  have  made  very  little  reply  by  firing,  and  to 
have  charged  home  with  fixed  bayonets  and  clubbed 
muskets.  In  the  space  of  half  a  league  they  despatched  a 
thousand  of  the  enemy  in  this  way,  but  their  own  losses, 
especially  in  officers,  were  heavy.  John  Wauchope  was 

334          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

killed  at  the  head  of  his  brigade.  Lord  Clare  was  mortally 
wounded.  His  brother,  Charles  O'Brien,  was  seriously 
wounded.  James  de  Lacy,  father  of  the  Russian  Marshal 
Peter,  was  killed. 

But  if  the  Irish  infantry  distinguished  itself  the  two 
Dragoon  regiments  surpassed  themselves.  From  Catinat's 
own  account  it  appears  that  on  this  occasion  they  were 
mounted — a  dragoon  being  supposed  to  be  equally  at  home 
on  foot  or  on  horseback — for  he  writes  : — 

"  Ces  deux  regiments  de  dragons  qui  etaient  dans  le  centre 
de  la  ligne  ont  fait  des  choses  surprenantes  de  valeur  et  de  bon 
ordre  dans  le  combat.  Us  ont  renverse  des  escadrons  1'epee 
a  la  main  les  chargeant  tete  par  tete  et  les  ont  renverses." 

In  this  charge  Maxwell  and  Francis  Carroll,  the  two 
commanders,  were  both  killed.  Dicconson,  the  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  of  Carroll's  regiment,  was  also  killed.  Lord  Kil- 
mallock,  who  succeeded  to  the  command  of  Maxwell's 
regiment,  was  especially  distinguished.  It  was  said  of 
Dorington  at  Landen  that  he  avenged  the  Boyne.  Of  the 
Marsaglia  it  might  be  said  that  the  Irish  Catholics  avenged 
themselves  on  the  Huguenots,  who  had  done  so  much 
against  them  in  Ireland.  The  Huguenot  regiments  in  the 
Prussian  service  were  practically  annihilated,  and  they  and 
the  Irish  bore,  in  their  respective  armies,  the  brunt  of  the 
fighting  between  them.  La  Hoguette  had  an  opportunity 
of  revising  his  judgment  on  Irish  troops ;  he  had  also  that 
of  showing  himself  in  a  better  light  than  at  the  Boyne. 
He  received  a  mortal  wound  in  the  heat  of  the  fray  and  died 
some  hours  later  in  his  tent,  after  an  affecting  interview 
with  Catinat. 

l-  De  Sourches  more  than  corroborates  Dangeau's  verdict 
that  "  the  Irish  did  very  well  at  Marsaglia,  and  that  King 
Louis  is  much  pleased  with  all  he  hears  and  is  told  of  them," 
when  he  writes  : — 

"  On  ne  saurait  assez  donner  de  louanges  a  toutes  les 
troupes  du  Roi  et  de  la  Reine  d'Angleterre  qui  ont  fait  des 


"  Too  high  praise  could  not  be  given  to  all  the  troops  of 
the  King  and  Queen  of  England,  who  did  wonders." 

Among  the  officers  who  especially  distinguished  them- 
selves, and  who  were  fortunate  to  come  out  unscathed, 
were  Edward  Scott,  Richard  Talbot,  Andrew  Lee,  and  Lord 
Kilmallock.  Edward  Scott  got  Wauchope's  Brigade, 
Andrew  Lee  succeeded  Lord  Clare  as  full  Colonel  of  the 
O'Brien  regiment,  Lord  Kilmallock  got  the  command  of 
one  Dragoon  regiment,  and  Charles  O'Brien,  soon  to  be 
Viscount  Clare  by  his  brother's  death,  got  that  of  the  other. 
The  Queen's  Dragoons  were  the  nucleus  from  which  sprang 
the  famous  Clare  Dragoons  of  the  later  wars. 

The  allied  army  suffered  very  heavily.  An  English 
regiment  was  said  to  have  been  wiped  out,  and  the  general 
in  command  of  this  contingent,  Charles,  second  Duke  of 
Schomberg,  was  killed.  The  Earl  of  Warwick  was  among 
the  prisoners.  In  those  cases  where  the  Huguenot  prisoners 
were  found  to  have  served  formerly  in  the  French  army 
they  were  hanged  as  deserters.  The  battle  of  the  Marsaglia 
added  immensely  to  Catinat's  reputation,  and  freed  France 
from  the  danger  of  invasion  through  Savoy.  This  relief 
was  not  inappreciable,  because  if  the  enemy  had  once 
effected  a  firm  lodgment  in  that  quarter  he  might  have 
fomented  the  Protestant  agitation  in  the  Cevennes,  which 
was  about  to  cause  the  French  Government  a  great  deal  of 

The  year  1693  was  therefore  memorable  for  establishing 
the  reputation  of  the  Irish  Brigade  as  an  integral  part  of 
the  regular  army  of  France.  What  had  been  only  an  ex- 
periment in  the  first  place  was  then  proved  to  be  a  success 
by  the  conspicuous  valour  and  remarkable  achievements  of 
the  Irish  soldiers,  not  in  minor  engagements,  as  in  1691  and 
1692,  but  in  pitched  battles  with  the  most  formidable  op- 
ponents of  the  French  monarch.  It  was  no  wonder  that 
he  was  pleased  and  satisfied  with  the  men  who  shed  their 
blood  so  freely  in  his  cause,  or  that  he  provided  them  with 
new  shoes  gratis,  and  declared  that  he  regarded  the  Irish 

336  THE   BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

Catholics  as  being  on  an  equality  with  his  own  subjects. 
That  expression  of  the  Royal  will  served  as  a  grand  act  of 
naturalisation  down  to  the  date  of  the  French  Revolution, 
when  the  sans- culottes  repudiated  the  understanding,  and 
left  the  descendants  of  the  poor  Irish  exiles — a  sadly  re- 
duced band — no  choice  save  to  flock  back  to  England  and 
to  form  there  the  nucleus  from  which  Wellington's  Irish 
troops  in  the  Peninsula  were  drawn.  But  that  is  looking 
far  ahead  of  the  period  with  which  we  are  dealing.  In 
1693,  Louis  and  his  Court  are  only  glad  that,  girt  in  by 
foes  on  all  sides,  they  have  found  at  least  some  loyal 
auxiliaries,  "  a  legion  of  the  lost,"  who  will  give  their  lives 
for  small  pay  and  few  honours.  It  is  not  an  aid  to  be 
despised  at  such  a  juncture. 

Chapter  XIV 


NOTWITHSTANDING  the  victories  gained  by 
Luxemburg  and  Catinat,  which  were  aug- 
mented before  the  year  1693  closed  by  Tour- 
ville's  capture  of  the  rich  Smyrna  fleet  in 
Lagos  Bay,  the  French  Government  desired  peace,  and 
Louis  made  overtures  through  the  Danish  Court  for  an 
accommodation  on  terms  very  favourable  to  the  Allies.  His 
proposals  were  rejected  and  interpreted  as  a  confession 
of  weakness.  William  especially  was  opposed  to  peace 
because  he  wanted  to  secure  the  reversion  of  Flanders  for 
himself,  whereas  Louis's  proposals  implied  that  if  the  King 
of  Spain  died  without  direct  heir,  it  would  pass  to  the 
Empire.  In  the  winter  of  1693-4  Louis  then  was  alone 
sincere  in  his  desire  for  peace.  His  enemies  counted  on 
some  military  successes  to  secure  better  terms,  and  William 
at  least  felt  with  some  confidence  that  he  might  in  the 
coming  year  obtain  them.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  cam- 
paign of  1694  proved  exceedingly  uneventful,  and  although 
William  commanded  a  larger  army  than  the  French,  he  did 
nothing  with  it.  Luxemburg  was  sick  and  ailing  all  the 
year,  although  he  retained  the  nominal  command,  and 
Villeroi  was  the  most  active  of  his  lieutenants — active  only 
in  the  sense  of  moving  about,  for  he  accomplished  nothing. 
If  there  was  inactivity  in  the  camps  there  was  a  good 
deal  of  intriguing  at  the  Courts,  and  James  in  particular 
had  been  very  busy.  In  the  spring  of  1693  an  old  friend 
and  councillor  rejoined  him  in  the  person  of  Charles, 
second  Earl  of  Middleton.  After  passing  over  four  years 
Y  337 

338          THE   BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

in  England,  sometimes  in  the  Tower  and  always  more  or 
less  as  a  state  prisoner,  Lord  Middleton  escaped  in  disguise, 
making  his  way  to  France  through  Holland.  He  was  a  man 
of  considerable  ability  and  discernment,  and  if  any  one 
could  recover  James's  crown  by  giving  good  advice,  he  was 
the  man  to  do  it.  There  is  no  doubt  that  after  his  arrival 
an  improvement  was  perceptible  in  the  methods  pursued 
by  the  State  Council  at  St.  Germains.  Melfort  was  got  rid 
of  and  sent  to  Rouen,  and  Middleton  took  his  place.  Of 
Melfort  at  this  juncture,  James  wrote  in  his  Memoirs  : 
"  He  is  not  liked  by  the  English,  or  by  the  Irish,  or  by  the 
French,  but  perhaps  he  is  not  so  much  the  worse  for  all 
that."  Lord  Middleton,  fresh  from  England,  knew  that 
James  would  have  to  yield  much  in  order  to  get  back,  and, 
indeed,  he  came  to  a  certain  extent  as  the  accredited  envoy 
of  the  more  important  Jacobites  or  quasi-Jacobites  like 
Marlborough.  On  the  other  hand,  Lord  Melfort  claimed 
the  free  exercise  of  the  royal  prerogative  and  would  yield 
little  or  nothing.  Middleton's  party  became  known  as  the 
Compounders ;  Melfort's  as  the  non-Compounders. 

As  the  consequence  of  Middleton's  taking  over  the 
direction  of  James's  affairs,  there  was  a  revival  of  the  efforts 
made  in  1692  to  rally  the  Jacobite  party  in  England,  and  to 
prepare  a  popular  rising  on  behalf  of  King  James.  James 
even  renewed  his  correspondence  with  Admiral  Russell 
through  the  intermediary  Lloyd,  but  there  is  no  doubt  that 
Russell  reported  everything  to  William,  and  besides,  his 
promises  were  so  vague  and  so  conditional  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  imagine  how  they  could  have  taken  any  one  in. 

Among  those  who  still  protested  their  loyalty  to  King 
James  and  their  desire  to  serve  him  was  Churchill,  Earl  of 
Marlborough.  He  had  passed  a  few  weeks  in  the  Tower  for 
his  treasonable  transactions  in  1692,  but  the  little  contre- 
temps seems  only  to  have  whetted  his  Jacobite  ardour. 
Marlborough  had  certainly  no  sympathy  for  William,  and 
was  probably  quite  willing  to  help  James  if  he  found  it 
profitable  to  his  own  interests.  It  was  also  a  doubtful  point 


with  him  and  with  others  whether  a  Jacobite  restoration 
was  at  all  possible,  and  he  did  not  see  how  it  would  benefit 
himself  to  be  associated  with  a  dismal  failure.  James's 
restoration  depended  on  the  successful  combination  of  a 
double  movement,  a  vigorous  rising  in  the  country,  and  the 
landing  of  a  considerable  force  in  it  from  outside ;  and  the 
conjunction  of  two  totally  distinct  bodies  set  in  motion 
and  moved  by  different  influences  is  always  difficult  to 
carry  out.  Marlborough  gauged  the  situation  accurately 
and  waited  on  events.  Sympathy  with  his  old  Sovereign 
conveyed  in  courtly  terms  cost  nothing. 

But  in  one  letter  he  sent  more  than  sympathy ;  he  sent 
priceless  information  of  its  kind.  Writing  on  May  4,  1694, 
he  stated  that  he  had  learnt  that  "  the  bomb  vessels  and  the 
twelve  regiments  that  are  now  encamped  at  Portsmouth, 
together  with  the  two  marine  regiments  are  to  be  com- 
manded by  Talmach,  and  are  designed  to  burn  the  harbour 
of  Brest  and  to  destroy  the  men-of-war  that  are  there." 
The  English  idea  was  not  merely  to  destroy  the  arsenal,  but 
to  seize  and  fortify  one  of  the  headlands,  which  would 
render  the  harbour  useless  as  a  French  base  for  the  future. 

On  receiving  this  warning  James  hastened  with  the  news 
to  Versailles,  and  Vauban  was  sent  off  at  once  to  put  Brest 
in  a  state  of  defence  and  to  give  the  invaders  a  warm 
reception.  His  measures  were  so  quietly  taken  that  the 
English  authorities  had  no  suspicion  that  their  plans  had 
been  divulged.  They  were  so  well  taken  that  the  expedi- 
tion was  repulsed  with  very  heavy  loss,  and  Talmach,  the 
most  popular  English  officer  of  his  day,  was  killed.  It  was 
said  that  Marlborough  was  jealous  of  Talmach,  and  that  his 
chief  motive  in  giving  the  information  was  to  get  rid  of  a 
rival.  But  this  Machiavellian  design  reposes  on  nothing 
substantial,  and  credits  Marlborough  with  a  prophetic 
power  to  which  it  would  be  absurd  to  attach  serious 
importance.  He  sent  the  best  piece  of  information  that  he 
possessed  at  the  moment  with  the  idea  of  proving  his 
attachment  to  James,  but  he  could  not  have  known  on 

340          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

May  4  when  he  wrote  that  the  plan  would  be  put  in  execu- 
tion on  June  22,  with  the  dire  results  we  all  have  read  about. 
The  sending  the  information  at  all  was  an  act  of  treason, 
but  we  need  not  for  that  attach  any  weight  to  the  petty 
motive  which  Macpherson  assigns  for  it. 

At  the  close  of  the  year,  which  was  marked  by  the  Brest 
expedition,  James's  daughter,  Queen  Mary,  in  right  of 
whom  William  shared  the  British  throne,  died,  and  it  was 
hoped  that  this  event  would  improve  James's  chance  of 
regaining  his  crown.  But  James  had  in  his  turn  become 
cautious,  and  he  was  loth  to  involve  his  friends  in  plots  and 
undertakings  which  achieved  nothing  beyond  placing  the 
individuals  implicated  at  the  mercy  of  William.  There 
were  many  indications  that  William  had  grown  vindictive, 
and  his  wife's  death  removed  a  moderating  influence.  In 
1692  James  had  at  last  issued  letters  of  marque  to  a  certain 
number  of  privateers  flying  his  flag  and  operating  from  St. 
Malo.  Their  captains  were  for  the  most  part  Irishmen, 
and  one  was  named  Captain  Golding.  The  object  of  this 
step  was  to  provide  James  with  a  little  independent  revenue 
of  his  own,  for  he  was  to  receive  a  share  of  the  profits. 
The  crews  were  mixed  Bretons  and  Irish,  and  in  no  part  of 
France  are  there  to-day  more  descendants  of  Irishmen  than 
in  Brittany,  although  the  surnames  have  undergone  curious 
metamorphoses — the  ancient  Hiberno-Norman  family  of 
Bermingham,  for  instance,  being  represented  there  at  the 
present  time  in  the  form  of  Brindijonc.  For  a  time  the 
adventurers  did  very  well,  and  the  privateers  of  St.  Malo 
became  famous  for  their  daring  raids.  But  in  1695  Golding 
was  captured,  and,  despite  the  fact  that  his  papers  were  in 
order,  William  hanged  him  as  a  pirate. 

In  this  year,  too,  a  very  bitter  feeling  was  aroused  along 
the  French  coast  by  the  descents  made  by  the  English 
fleet  at  different  ports.  Dunkirk  was  seriously  damaged,  and 
Villeroi  declared  that  it  was  done  by  the  use  of  "  infernal 
machines."  Dieppe  was  destroyed.  These  petty  operations 
had  no  real  effect  on  the  fortunes  of  the  war.  They  were 


undertaken  as  a  sort  of  retaliation  for  the  Brest  failure. 
In  their  turn  they  led  to  reprisals  by  the  French.  Louis 
ordered  Villeroi  to  bombard  Brussels  with  red-hot  bullets 
as  a  set-off  for  the  burning  of  Dieppe,  and  when  he  was 
told  of  Golding's  fate  and  of  William's  high-handed  action 
generally,  he  threatened  to  exact  a  summary  vengeance  on 
the  10,000  prisoners  in  his  power.  When  William  discovered 
that  Louis  had  the  means  of  retaliating  and  intended  to 
exercise  it,  he  changed  his  programme  and  gave  up  the 
practice  of  useless  but  cruel  provocations.  William  might 
have  defied  Louis,  but  he  could  not  ignore  the  representa- 
tions of  his  ally  the  Elector  of  Bavaria  at  the  sufferings  of 

The  bombardment  of  Brussels  by  Villeroi  at  Louis's 
direction  has  been  considered  an  inexcusable  act  of  severity, 
but  it  is  only  right  to  state  what  does  not  seem  to  be 
generally  known  that  Villeroi,  before  firing,  called  on  the 
Elector  to  give  a  pledge  for  his  ally  that  the  bombardment 
of  Dieppe  should  never  be  repeated.  The  Elector  replied 
regretting  his  inability  to  do  so,  and  it  was  only  after  that 
answer  that  Villeroi  began  the  bombardment.  This  was 
witnessed  by  the  Duke  of  Berwick,  who  in  his  Memoirs 
compares  the  scene  to  the  burning  of  Troy. 

The  years  1694-5  saw  some  changes  in  the  ranks  of  the 
foremost  personages  so  far  as  our  narrative  is  concerned. 
Lord  Mountcashell  after  serving  in  Savoy  and  Catalonia, 
was  appointed  Lieutenant-General  under  Lorges  for  the 
campaign  on  the  Rhine,  in  1694.  He  had  been  frequently 
wounded,  as  we  have  seen,  and  several  of  his  old  wounds 
broke  out  afresh  under  the  hardships  of  campaigning.  In 
July,  1694,  he  was  obliged  to  leave  the  camp  for  Bareges, 
in  the  Pyrenees,  but  instead  of  benefiting  by  the  waters  he 
died  there.  Andrew  Lee  was  given  the  command  of  his 
regiment,  and  Richard  Talbot  was  nominated  Brigadier  of 
infantry.  At  the  end  of  the  same  year,  Marshal  Bellefonds 
died,  and  Luxemburg  was  stricken  with  his  last  illness. 
When  Louis  heard  of  this  he  sent  Fagon,  his  own  physician, 

342          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

to  him  with  these  instructions :  "  Do  for  M.  de  Luxemburg 
all  you  would  do  for  me  if  I  were  in  his  state  ;  "  and  to 
those  near  him  he  remarked  :  "  The  Prince  of  Orange  will 
be  glad  if  he  goes !  "  A  few  days  later  Luxemburg  was 
dead  and  France  was  all  the  poorer  for  losing  the  general 
who  had  won  three  great  victories. 

If  Luxemburg  had  been  living  in  1695,  William  would 
never  have  scored  the  one  success  he  ever  achieved  over 
France  in  the  recapture  of  Namur.  While  the  main  army 
in  the  field  was  left  under  the  command  of  Villeroi,  the 
defence  of  Namur  was  entrusted  to  Boufflers  and  a  garrison 
of  15,000  men.  William  appeared  before  the  place  at  the 
commencement  of  July,  and  attacked  the  town  with  such 
vigour  that  it  was  only  realised  when  too  late  that  it  was  in 
danger.  Villeroi  was  inexcusably  remiss  in  his  effort  to 
intervene,  and  the  only  attempt  he  could  be  said  to  have 
made  was  the  attack  on  Brussels,  to  which  William  remained 
absolutely  indifferent.  On  August  4  Boufflers  found  him- 
self compelled  to  surrender  the  town  with  14,000  men, 
and  three  weeks  later  the  citadel  followed  suit.  This  was 
the  most  serious  reverse  Louis  had  suffered  up  to  that  point 
of  his  career,  and  was  quite  the  equivalent  of  Landen  or 
Steinkerk.  The  loss  of  Namur  and  the  inactivity  that 
characterised  the  campaign  of  1696  more  than  ever  pre- 
disposed Louis  to  make  peace  on  terms,  which  even  his 
enemies  could  not  represent  as  unfavourable  to  themselves. 
But  before  the  peace  negotiations  were  absolutely  set  on 
foot  James  made  one  final  effort  to  recover  England. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Louis's  desire  for  peace 
caused  considerable  alarm  at  St.  Germains,  for  peace  could 
not  be  made  without  France  recognising  in  some  form  or 
other  the  authority  of  William  as  de  facto  King  of  England. 
James  must  have  felt  that  an  embarrassing  situation  would 
then  be  created  about  his  stay  at  St.  Germains.  The  only 
solution  that  could  at  all  meet  the  case  from  his  point  of 
view  was  a  successful  rising  in  England  for  the  return  of  the 


The  winter  of  1695-6  saw,  therefore,  a  revival  of  Jacobite 
activity.  Middleton  and  the  second  Secretary  Carryll  (an 
Englishman  not  to  be  confounded  with  the  Irish  Carrolls) 
were  busy  drafting  proclamations  and  declarations.  The 
goodwill  of  the  French  Court  was  ensured,  and  once  more, 
as  in  1692,  it  was  agreed  that  James's  Irish  troops  should  be 
free  to  leave  France  and  embark  for  England.  In  February 
Berwick  was  ordered  to  review  all  the  Irish  troops  in  the 
French  service,  at  that  moment  estimated  to  number  16,000 
men,  and  the  official  announcement  was  made  that  for  the 
next  campaign  the  Irish  troops  were  to  be  principally 
employed  in  Italy  and  Germany.  But  this  was  only  a  blind, 
for  the  Irish  troops  were  sent  by  forced  marches  to  Calais, 
and  Berwick  left  France  in  disguise  for  London. 

The  drafting  of  a  fresh  Declaration  that  should  satisfy 
all  parties  and  sects  in  England  at  a  moment  when  sectarian- 
ism ruled  everything  was  an  impossible  feat,  and  James  was 
wise  in  his  generation  when  he  decided  to  hold  back  the 
Declaration  until  he  had  landed  in  England,  and  as  he 
never  landed  it  was  never  published.  But  with  the  view  of 
sounding  and  encouraging  Jacobite  opinion,  he  sent  over 
the  Duke  of  Berwick  to  consult  with  the  leaders,  and  Sir 
George  Barclay,  properly  authorised  thereto,  to  rally  all 
available  forces  to  his  side  and  to  prepare  for  a  rising.  The 
main  question  was,  were  the  Jacobites  strong  enough  to 
rise  of  their  own  accord  in  the  first  place  and  hold  their 
ground  for  a  little  time  until  aid  could  come  from  France  ? 

The  Jacobites  sent  over  a  representative  named  Powell  to 
St.  Germains,  and  whether  it  was  due  to  his  desire  to  please 
or  to  a  want  of  judgment  he  represented  that  the  Jaco- 
bites were  ready  to  rise  at  any  moment.  He  made  a  state- 
ment to  this  effect  for  the  information  of  the  French 
Government,  which  was  shown  to  Louis,  who  agreed  to 
afford  the  aid  necessary  to  support  the  English  rising. 
But  the  assumption  was  that  the  rising  in  England  was  to 
precede  the  departure  of  the  French  expedition.  The 
King  of  France  and  his  advisers  made  this  stipulation  the 

344          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

indispensable  condition  of  their  co-operation.  It  was  then 
that  Berwick  and  a  certain  number  of  officers  were  sent  over 
in  detached  parties  to  head  the  movement,  and  to  lend  the 
Jacobite  insurgents  the  aid  of  their  experience  in  war. 

Berwick  arrived  in  London  and  was  placed  in  a  secure 
retreat  by  his  uncle  Marlborough,  and  he  seems  to  have 
been  also  sheltered  by  the  young  Duke  of  Richmond.  He 
had  several  interviews  with  the  leading  men  which  satisfied 
him  that  there  would  be  no  rising  until  James  had  himself 
landed  in  sufficient  force.  But  he  saw  others  besides  the 
leaders.  He  met  some  of  the  minor  tools.  He  saw  Sir 
George  Barclay,  and  he  learnt  from  him  that  there  was  a 
plot  on  foot  for  the  assassination  of  William,  and  that  in  a 
weak  moment  Barclay  had  committed  himself  to  approval 
of  it.  Berwick,  fearful  of  his  own  reputation,  hastily 
quitted  London  and  arrived  in  France  in  safety.  Con- 
sidering his  experience  after  Landen  it  was  a  brave  thing  to 
venture  to  London  at  all,  but  to  leave  himself  open  to  the 
suspicion  of  being  a  party  to  a  common  murder  plot  was  so 
shocking  to  his  delicate  and  chivalrous  mind  that  he  took  to 
flight  as  soon  as  he  heard  the  first  rumour  of  such  a  scheme. 

On  February  29,  1696,  Berwick  met  his  father  a  day  out 
from  Paris  as  he  was  posting  to  Calais  to  join  his  army. 
Having  given  him  his  news  he  hastened  on,  and  was 
received  the  next  day  by  Louis  and  Madame  de  Maintenon. 
After  two  interviews  with  them  Berwick  was  ordered  to 
Calais  to  inform  James  that  Louis  was  fixed  in  his  decision 
that  no  troops  should  leave  France  until  a  rising  had 
actually  taken  place  in  England.  For  three  months  James 
remained  on  the  coast,  passing  his  time  between  Calais 
and  Boulogne  in  expectancy  of  the  rising  which  never 
came,  and  reviewing  periodically  the  eighteen  battalions 
of  which  the  expedition  was  to  consist.  As  generalissimo, 
the  Marquis  d'Harcourt,  who  had  led  Irish  troops  in  the 
Ardennes,  was  lent  to  the  English  King,  and  later  on  the 
services  of  Marshal  Joyeuse  were  added.  But  nothing 
came  of  all  these  preparations  because  of  the  occurrences  in 


England  which  seriously  compromised  James's  position  and 
chances,  although  there  is  not  the  least  room  to  doubt  that 
he  never  had  anything  to  do  with  any  of  the  so-called 
assassination  plots. 

But  before  those  matters  are  dealt  with  there  is  one 
incident  that  more  nearly  affected  the  Irish  troops  which 
may  be  described.  Among  the  Irish  officers  not  one  had 
more  signally  distinguished  himself  than  Colonel  Richard 
Talbot,  the  natural  son  of  the  Duke  of  Tyrconnell.  As 
Brigadier  he  had  rendered  material  assistance  to  Boisseleau 
in  the  first  siege  of  Limerick.  He  had  commanded  the 
Clare  regiment  in  Italy,  and  at  Marsaglia  had  so  distin- 
guished himself  as  to  be  nominated  Brigadier  of  Infantry 
among  the  next  appointments.  He  and  his  regiment  were 
at  Calais  in  readiness  to  sail  for  England.  It  became  known 
that  Louis  had  vetoed  the  expedition  unless  there  were 
first  a  rising  in  England.  This  decision  was,  naturally 
enough,  not  popular  in  the  force,  and  there  was  some 
grumbling.  Talbot  was  the  loudest  grumbler,  and  he 
criticised  Louis  in  terms  that  could  not  be  condoned  or 
passed  over,  more  especially  as  they  were  uttered  in  James's 
own  presence.  Tale-bearers  carried  the  story  to  Versailles 
and  St.  Germains.  The  matter  had  made  too  much  stir  to 
be  overlooked,  and  Talbot  was  ordered  to  leave  his  regi- 
ment at  Calais  and  proceed  to  St.  Germains  to  explain  his 

On  arrival  he  was  received  by  Mary  of  Modena,  who  had 
invited  Madame  de  Maintenon  to  be  present,  and  was  then 
examined  as  to  his  language  and  conduct.  He  could  not 
deny  what  he  had  said,  which  was  tantamount  to  lese- 
majeste^  and  he  was  at  once  deprived  of  his  command  and 
sent  to  the  Bastille.  This  incident  occurred  on  March  29, 
1696.  The  information  as  to  the  length  of  his  detention 
in  the  Bastille  is  of  an  uncertain  nature,  but  in  1701  he  was 
allowed  to  join  his  old  regiment  as  "  a  volunteer  "  and  was 
killed  at  Luzzara  performing  prodigies  of  valour.  His 
regiment,  with  a  revenue  of  20,000  livres  a  year  to  the 

346          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Colonel,  was  given  to  Charles  O'Brien,  now  become  Lord 
Clare,  and  it  cannot  be  denied  that  Talbot  was  very  heavily 
punished  for  a  few  indiscreet  remarks. 

A  few  days  after  James's  arrival  at  Calais  news  reached 
him  of  many  arrests  in  London  of  persons  connected  with 
the  Jacobite  movement,  who  were  accused  of  plotting  the 
assassination  of  William.  Sir  George  Barclay,  in  his  official 
report  of  his  mission,  explains  very  clearly  how  this  con- 
spiracy had  originated,  and  James  records  regretfully  in  his 
Memoirs  that  "  it  was  a  more  than  usual  trouble  to  the 
King  to  see  his  projects  broke,  his  hopes  blasted,  and  his 
friends  ruined  by  their  pursuing  methods  contrary  to  his 
judgment  and  without  his  consent." 

Barclay,  accompanied  by  Major  Holmes,  reached  London 
on  January  6,  1696.  A  day  or  two  later  he  met  Charnock, 
who  complained  of  James's  refusing  to  approve  a  scheme 
that  he  and  others  had  prepared  for  getting  rid  of  William. 
Charnock  brought  Sir  William  Perkins,  who  shared  his  views, 
to  see  Barclay.  They  explained  how  easy  the  plan  would  be 
of  execution  and  how  resolute  they  were  in  their  purpose. 
Barclay  was  favourably  impressed,  and  producing  his 
commission  extended  the  phrase  of  "  levying  war "  into 
"  any  open  attack  on  the  Prince  of  Orange  surrounded  by 
his  guards."  The  definite  project  of  Charnock  and  his 
associates  was  to  attack  William  as  he  was  returning  from 
hunting  in  either  Windsor  or  Richmond  Parks.  Other 
persons  were  brought  in,  mostly  military  men  like  Captains 
Knightly,  Fisher,  and  Hungate,  and  all  the  preparations 
were  made  with  great  care  and  deliberation.  Forty  armed 
men  were  got  together,  horses  were  bought  by  Barclay, 
and  the  spot  for  the  attack  was  carefully  selected  on 
Turnham  Green. 

Among  forty  adventurers  chosen  from  unemployed 
officers,  it  is  not  very  surprising  that  there  should  be  a  few 
traitors.  Captains  Fisher  and  Prendergast  carried  the 
information  to  Lord  Portland.  Another  individual  named 
La  Rue  went  alone,  and  when  the  authorities  thought  they 


could  secure  the  whole  band  they  struck  their  blow. 
William  left  Kensington  Palace  to  go  hunting  in  Richmond 
Park,  and  the  conspirators  hastened  to  the  rendezvous  at 
Turnham  Green  to  attack  him  on  his  return.  But  William 
did  not  return  that  way,  and  a  regiment  of  cavalry  swooped 
down  on  those  of  the  conspirators  who  had  arrived.  Barclay 
and  Holmes  had  not  arrived,  and  eventually  escaped  to 
France  ;  but  the  others  were  brought  to  trial  and  executed 
with  as  little  delay  as  possible.  It  is  said  of  Prendergast 
that  his  conscience  pricked  him,  but  it  had  not  pricked  him 
soon  enough  to  prevent  his  joining  the  plotters  and  learning 
their  secrets. 

The  worst  injury  to  the  Jacobite  cause  from  this  con- 
spiracy was  in  its  consequences,  for  several  of  the  parties  to 
the  murder  plot  knew  of  the  intended  Jacobite  rising,  and 
in  the  hope  of  saving  their  own  necks  were  not  backward  in 
incriminating  others.  Many  arrests  followed,  and  among 
the  most  notable  persons  seized  was  Sir  John  Fenwick.  He 
was  a  fervent  Jacobite  prepared  to  fight  for  King  James, 
but  had  no  part  in  the  murder  plot.  It  was,  however, 
easier  to  get  from  an  English  jury  a  death  sentence  for  the 
latter  offence  than  for  vague  intriguing,  and  Fenwick  was 
tried  and  condemned.  William  owed  him  a  grudge  and 
was  set  on  his  death.  Fenwick's  attempt  to  save  his  life  by 
revealing  the  treason  of  Marlborough  and  others  in  high 
station  did  not  help  him,  but  it  had  the  effect  of  frightening 
all  the  Jacobite  sympathisers,  who  conceived  that  there 
had  been  indiscretion  at  St.  Germains  and  that  it  was  too 
perilous  to  correspond  with  it  any  more. 

So  in  every  way  James  was  a  sufferer  and  loser  by  the 
abortive  movement  of  1696  to  recover  his  throne,  which  was 
destined  to  be  the  last  he  was  to  make.  Louis  withdrew  his 
troops  from  the  coast,  and  came  to  the  conclusion  that  a 
restoration  of  James  was  no  longer  possible,  and  this  made 
him  more  than  ever  set  on  closing  the  war.  In  England 
James  was  discredited  by  the  murder  conspiracy  with  which 
he  had  nothing  to  do,  so  it  turned  out  that  he  suffered 

348          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

through  his  friends.  In  more  than  one  quarter,  too,  the 
view  was  growing  that  the  Stuart  cause  would  be  more 
likely  to  prosper  if  it  were  represented  by  the  young  Prince 
of  Wales  than  the  old  King,  but  James  had  very  strong 
views  on  the  indefeasible  rights  of  royalty  and  refused  to 
waive  them  on  any  terms.  He  was  King  of  England  de 
jure,  and  nothing  would  induce  him  to  give  up  that  position, 
not  even  the  offer  of  another  crown,  which  was  made  him 
in  Poland.  This  he  rejected  because  it  would  entail  the 
abdication  of  the  one  that  was  his  by  right.  The  Polish 
throne  was  then  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Prince  of 
Conty,  one  of  Louis's  natural  children,  and  for  a  brief 
period  it  was  occupied  by  him. 

Although  peace  was  not  to  be  attained  for  some  time 
longer,  Louis's  efforts  in  that  direction  were  not  wholly 
fruitless.  After  Marsaglia  the  Duke  of  Savoy  had  become 
less  keen  for  the  prolongation  of  the  war,  and  seeing  the 
chance  of  recovering  his  paternal  estates  growing  more  and 
more  remote  as  the  ally  of  the  Emperor,  he  decided  at  last 
on  coming  to  terms  with  Louis.  A  truce  was  concluded 
between  them  in  July,  1696,  and  this  was  followed  by  a 
formal  treaty  and  alliance.  By  its  terms  the  Duke  was  ap- 
pointed generalissimo  of  the  French  and  Piedmontese 
forces  in  Italy,  and  in  this  capacity  he  undertook  the  siege 
of  Milan.  A  still  more  important  part  of  the  convention 
was  that  his  daughter  should  be  betrothed  to  the  Duke  of 
Burgundy,  and  as  she  was  only  eleven  years  of  age  it  was 
arranged  that  she  should  be  sent  to  France  to  receive  her 
education  under  the  supervision  of  Madame  de  Maintenon 
at  St.  Cyr. 

Towards  the  end  of  1696  Louis  induced  Charles  XI, 
King  of  Sweden,  to  act  as  mediator  between  him  and  the 
other  Powers,  and  although  that  King's  death  somewhat 
interfered  with  the  negotiations,  the  -pourparlers  had 
commenced  before  it  took  place,  and  his  son  and  successor, 
the  warlike  Charles  XII,  was  able  to  employ  his  good  offices 
for  the  first  and  only  time  in  the  cause  of  peace.  James, 


well  aware  of  all  that  was  proceeding  and  apprehending 
even  that  the  consequences  of  peace  would  be  worse  for 
him  than  they  proved,  made  many  efforts  to  assert  what  he 
termed  his  rights,  and  represented  his  case  in  a  special  manner 
to  the  Emperor.  He  proposed  to  that  potentate  to  make 
a  separate  and  advantageous  treaty  with  the  King  of  France, 
who  would  then  be  able  to  take  up  his  cause  for  the  recovery 
of  the  English  Crown  in  real  earnest.  These  representa- 
tions were  vain,  and  were  received  in  a  slighting  manner  at 
Vienna.  James's  further  proposal  that  he  should  send  a 
Minister  plenipotentiary  to  the  peace  negotiations  was  also 
not  entertained. 

The  negotiations  between  France  and  the  Allied  Powers 
got  so  far  as  the  selection  of  a  place  of  meeting  and  the 
nomination  of  plenipotentiaries  by  the  respective  Govern- 
ments. Ryswyck,  a  country  house  belonging  to  William, 
situated  half-way  between  the  Hague  and  Delft,  was  selected 
for  the  conference ;  and  the  plenipotentiaries  were  as 
follows  :  for  France,  Harlay,  Comte  Bonneuil,  Verjus, 
Comte  de  Crecy,  and  M.  Callieres ;  for  England,  Earl  of 
Pembroke,  Viscount  Villiers,  and  Mr.  Williamson  ;  for  the 
Empire,  Count  Kaunitz,  Count  Stratmann,  and  Baron 
Seilern  ;  and  for  the  States,  Messrs.  Dichult  and  Burel. 

The  negotiations  covered  from  beginning  to  end  a  period 
of  ten  months,  and  Louis  made  just  as  strenuous  an  effort 
for  the  campaign  of  1697  as  he  had  done  for  any  of  its 
predecessors,  although  there  is  no  doubt  that  his  instruc- 
tions to  his  generals  were  not  to  force  on  engagements. 
Three  armies  were  in  the  field  in  the  Netherlands  under 
the  separate  commands  of  Boufflers,  Villeroi,  and  Catinat. 
Catinat  had  been  transferred  from  Italy  in  order  not  to 
clash  with  his  late  opponent  the  Duke  of  Savoy,  and  he  was 
the  only  one  of  the  three  to  do  anything  in  the  field.  He 
laid  siege  to  and  captured  Ath  on  June  7.  In  Spain  the 
French  arms  achieved  a  signal  success  when  Vendome 
captured,  on  August  18,  Barcelona,  considered  by  the 
Spaniards  to  be  their  chief  fortress.  These  successes 

350          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

showed  that  the  fortune  of  war  was  still  on  the  side  of 
France,  and  to  the  Jacobites  they  supplied  an  argument  for 
urging  their  friends  at  Versailles  to  make  one  more  effort 
for  the  recovery  of  James's  throne.  Why  make  peace,  it  was 
said,  in  the  midst  of  victory  when  your  adversaries  are 
known  to  be  divided  among  themselves  and  in  grave  finan- 
cial embarrassment  ?  But  this  opinion  could  not  be 
expressed  loudly.  James  could  not  utter  it  to  Louis 
himself,  who,  with  the  Spanish  succession  looming  not  far 
ahead,  was  resolved  to  close  the  struggle  in  progress  if  he 
could  do  so  in  honour. 

At  last  William,  who  had  been  reluctant  to  make  peace, 
and  who  was  the  real  hindrance  to  the  rapid  progress  of  the 
negotiations  at  Ryswyck,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  peace 
was  just  as  necessary  for  himself  as  it  seemed  to  Louis.  The 
English  Parliament  had  become  less  generous  in  its  supplies, 
the  relations  between  English  and  Dutchmen  were  strained, 
and  the  support  of  the  Empire  was  weakening.  William 
determined  to  hasten  matters  by  taking  an  independent 
course.  At  the  end  of  June  he  instructed  the  Earl  of 
Portland  to  write  to  Marshal  Boufflers  and  suggest  an 
interview.  Boufflers  had  met  Portland  after  the  surrender 
of  Namur,  and  they  had  consequently  a  slight  personal 
acquaintance.  Boufflers  informed  Louis  of  the  proposal, 
and  awaited  his  orders.  They  soon  came,  with  the  royal 
permission  to  have  the  interview.  Boufflers,  cautious  and 
honest,  took  the  precaution  of  sending  a  report  to  the 
King  after  each  interview,  and  with  one  exception  of  not 
having  a  second  meeting  until  he  had  received  a  fresh 
authority  from  the  King  his  master. 

The  field  conferences,  as  they  were  called,  between 
Boufflers  and  Portland  were  held  with  one  exception  at  the 
advanced  posts  between  the  two  armies.  A  comparatively 
small  party  accompanied  the  principals,  who  on  meeting 
stood  apart  or  walked  aside,  no  one  being  permitted  to 
overhear  or  take  part  in  their  conversations.  It  was  therefore 
Boufflers  against  Portland,  the  word  of  one  man  against  the 


other,  and  as  there  were  seven  meetings  altogether  and  as 
there  were  many  hypothetical  situations  discussed,  it  would 
not  be  surprising  if,  equal  good  faith  granted  on  both  sides, 
there  were  some  discrepancies  between  the  reports  of  the 
two  negotiators  in  details.  The  meetings  were  held  on 
July  8,  15,  17,  20,  and  26,  August  2  and  September  n. 
The  last  of  these  took  place  in  a  country  house  at  Tubize. 

The  subject  of  these  conferences  was  exclusively  the 
question  of  the  Stuarts.  As  to  the  main  conditions  of  the 
peace  they  were  left  to  the  plenipotentiaries  at  Ryswyck, 
and  in  themselves  called  for  no  prolonged  discussion  as  they 
were  based,  so  far  as  England  and  France  were  concerned, 
on  a  mutual  surrender  of  all  advantages  gained  or  a  return 
to  the  status  quo  ante.  But  William  wanted  very  much  to 
inflict  a  personal  humiliation  on  James.  He  had  taken 
away  his  Crown  ;  he  wanted  to  deprive  him  of  his  place  of 
exile,  the  sure  retreat  put  at  his  disposal  by  the  French 
King  on  the  banks  of  the  Seine.  It  was  a  design  in  perfect 
accord  with  the  petty  spitefulness  of  William's  character, 
no  longer  modified  by  the  broader  views  of  his  wife.  He 
instructed  Portland  to  say  that  the  real  obstacle  to  the 
conclusion  of  peace  was  the  continued  presence  of  the 
Stuart  family  in  France,  and  that  if  they  were  sent  out  of 
the  country,  to  Italy,  or  elsewhere,  the  treaty  should  be 
signed  at  once.  To  that  proposal  BoufHers  gave,  on  behalf  of 
Louis,  an  absolute  refusal. 

Portland  then  changed  his  ground.  His  Prince  would  be 
satisfied  if  James  were  sent  to  some  other  part  of  France — 
Avignon  being  named — and  if  the  Court  of  St.  Germains 
were  broken  up.  But  at  the  same  time  that  he  made  this 
proposal  he  put  forward  a  very  specious  suggestion  which 
might  tend  to  soften  its  effect.  William,  said  Lord  Port- 
land, had  no  heir,  and  at  that  moment  was  not  on  speaking 
terms  with  his  sister-in-law  Anne.  He  would  be  willing  to 
adopt  the  young  Prince  of  Wales  as  his  heir  so  far  as 
England  was  concerned,  if  he  were  sent  to  that  country  to 
be  brought  up  as  a  Protestant, 

352          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

It  may  be  fully  admitted  that  this  proposal  represented 
the  best  chance  the  Stuart  family  ever  had  of  recovering 
the  English  throne,  but  it  would  have  been  disgraceful  if 
James  had  listened  to  the  proposal  for  a  moment.  It  is  to 
his  credit  that  he  treated  the  offer  with  contemptuous 
scorn.  William  was  the  man  who,  more  than  any  one 
else,  had  spread  the  story  that  the  young  Prince  of  Wales 
was  no  Stuart,  but  a  child  foisted  on  the  English  people. 
The  slander  had  served  his  turn  ;  he  was  now  willing  to 
make  him  his  own  heir  so  far  as  England  was  concerned. 
He  squared  his  conscience  by  adding,  "  but  it  must  ensure 
the  Protestant  succession."  On  this  understanding  he  was 
even  willing  to  allow  Queen  Mary  of  Modena  to  receive 
her  dowry  of  .£50,000  a  year,  although  still  insisting  on  the 
break-up  of  the  Court  of  St.  Germains.  William's  pro- 
posal was  then  that  James  should  waive  his  rights  in  favour 
of  his  son,  who  should  be  sent  to  England,  that  the  Court 
of  St.  Germains  should  be  dissolved,  and  that  in  return  he 
would  recognise  the  Prince  of  Wales  as  his  heir  and  get  the 
English  Parliament  to  pay  his  mother  the  .£50,000  a  year 
which  was  her  due. 

James  simply  rejected  the  proposal.  He  confined  himself 
to  the  statement  that  his  rights  were  indefeasible,  and  that 
he  could  be  no  party  to  their  diminution  or  abrogation.  It 
is  impossible  not  to  feel  that  in  this  instance  James  appears 
to  greater  advantage  than  his  rival.  Although  there  is  no 
reference  to  the  matter  in  the  text  of  the  treaty,  it  was 
assumed  by  the  French,  rightly  or  wrongly,  that  William 
had  agreed  to  pay  the  Queen  her  dowry,  but  when  Portland 
arrived  in  France  as  William's  ambassador,  and  the  point 
was  brought  before  him,  he  replied  that  William  would  not 
pay  it  so  long  as  the  Stuarts  remained  at  St.  Germains.  He 
even  went  so  far  as  to  declare  that  Boufflers  had  promised 
him  that  the  Stuarts  should  be  banished  from  St.  Germains, 
but  Boufflers  was  at  hand  to  contradict  him,  and  it  is  quite 
certain  that  Boufflers  throughout  had  only  re-echoed 
Louis's  words,  and  that  Louis  always  repelled  the  proposal 


and  would   never  listen   to  it.      Dangeau   makes   Louis's 
position  clear  in  the  following  passage  : — 

"  Us  avaient  propose  que  le  Roi  obligeat  le  roi  et  la  reine 
d'Angleterre  de  sortir  de  France,  et  ensuite  s'etaient  reduits 
a  demander  qu'au  moins  ils  ne  demeurassent  pas  a  Saint 
Germain,  si  pres  du  Roi  qui  est  d' ordinaire  a  Versailles. 
S.  M.  n'a  voulu  ecouter  aucunes  propositions  la-dessus, 
disant  toujours  que  c'etaient  des  gens  malheureux  a  qui  il 
avait  donne  asile  et  des  gens  veritablement  ses  amis,  et  qu'il 
ne  voulait  point  les  eloigner  de  lui ;  qu'ils  etaient  assez  a 
plaindre  sans  augmenter  encore  leurs  malheurs." 

When  Portland,  not  satisfied  with  BoufHers's  dissent, 
brought  the  matter  officially  before  the  French  Govern- 
ment, he  received  the  following  answer  from  the  Marquis 
de  Torcy  : — 

"  This  point  was  frequently  raised  during  the  Conferences 
with  the  Marechal  de  BoufHers,  and  it  was  also  discussed 
under  different  forms  at  Ryswyck.  It  was  always  and 
uniformly  rejected.  It  is  a  matter  absolutely  finished  with. 
I  know  that  the  King  will  not  only  never  allow  anything 
in  the  least  degree  bearing  on  the  subject  to  be  taken  in 
hand,  but  that  he  will  feel  exceedingly  wounded  if  he 
hears  it  spoken  of  any  more.  I  can  assure  you  of  his  good 
disposition  to  correspond  in  every  way  with  the  bond 
which  has  been  established  between  him  and  your  sovereign  ; 
but  a  single  word  about  St.  Germains  might  spoil  these  good 
dispositions  and  render  your  embassy  sterile  and  unpleasant. 
If  it  were  permissible  for  me  to  give  you  a  word  of  advice, 
it  would  be  not  to  say  a  single  word  to  the  King,  nor  even  to 
his  ministers,  on  a  question  that  has  been  settled,  and  about 
which  the  King  has  definitely  made  up  his  mind." 

Language  could  not  be  clearer  or  more  emphatic  than 
this,  and  Louis  took  occasion  to  say  that  he  entirely  ap- 
proved of  what  the  Marquis  de  Torcy  had  stated. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  Queen  Mary  of  Modena  did  not  get 
a  penny  of  her  dower  for  another  eighteen  years,  or  till  after 
the  Treaty  of  Utrecht.  Mr.  Secretary  Vernon  was  quite 

354          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

correct  when  he  wrote  of  the  events  of  1698  that  "  he  feared 
the  poor  lady  never  received  any  payment  on  this  account." 
The  resources  of  the  Stuart  family  continued  to  be  no  more 
than  the  amount  of  Louis's  pension. 

The  treaty  of  peace  was  signed  on  September  20,  1697, 
while  James  and  Mary  were  paying  their  usual  annual  visit 
to  Fontainebleau,  and  Louis,  to  show  his  regard  for  his 
guests,  gave  orders  that  no  rejoicings  for  the  welcome 
event  were  to  be  made  until  after  their  departure.  Only 
after  they  had  left  were  the  bands  allowed  to  play,  the  Te 
Deum  to  be  sung  in  the  Royal  Chapel,  and  the  terrace  to 
be  illuminated  in  celebration  of  the  Peace  of  Ryswyck. 

James  had  fully  realised  all  the  consequences  of  peace 
when  in  1696  he  had  striven  to  avert  it.  The  first  con- 
sequence was  that  Louis  had  recognised  William  as  King  of 
Great  Britain,  and  as  there  could  not  be  two  holders  of  the 
same  style  James  ceased  to  be  called  the  "  roi  d'Angleterre  " 
and  became  instead  "  le  roi  Jacques."  The  second  con- 
sequence was  that  an  end  was  put  to  Jacobite  intriguing. 
St.  Germains  remained  a  residence,  a  home,  as  it  were,  but 
it  ceased  to  be  the  head-quarters  of  a  King  striving  to 
recover  his  crown. 

On  the  other  hand,  James  had  preserved  his  dignity  and 
his  honour.  He  had  not  truckled  to  his  old  enemy,  he  had 
spurned  his  specious  offer.  He  even  published  his  Protest 
to  the  signing  of  any  treaty  with  "  the  Usurper  of  our 
Kingdoms,"  a'nd  declared  it  to  be  null  and  void.  Of  all 
the  prominent  actors  in  the  Stuart  drama  James  was  the 
most  consistent,  and  his  conduct  at  this  crisis  was  the  exact 
opposite  of  that  of  Henry  of  Navarre,  who  changed  his 
religion  because,  as  he  said  :  "  Paris  vaut  bien  une  messe." 
Even  to  recover  the  throne  of  his  ancestors  James  would  not 
waive  a  tittle  of  his  rights,  or  allow  his  son  to  be  brought 
up  in  another  religion  than  his  own.  His  firmness  was  all  the 
more  remarkable  and  commendable,  because  it  was  no 
secret  that  Louis  was  favourably  inclined  to  the  project. 
Among  Stuart  failings  must  not  be  placed  the  moral 


cowardice  that  dictates  the  dropping  of  one's  principles 
for  the  sake  of  worldly  advantages. 

James,  however,  soon  found  "definite  reasons  for  ap- 
preciating the  change  in  his  position.  As  King  of  England, 
temporarily  absent  from  his  realm,  he  had  possessed  his 
own  bodyguard  in  the  two  troops  first  commanded  by  the 
Duke  of  Berwick  and  Lord  Lucan.  He  received  a  hint 
that  such  a  bodyguard  was  no  longer  appropriate  to  his 
circumstances,  and  to  leave  him  in  no  doubt  on  the  sub- 
ject the  French  authorities  called  in  the  horses  they  had 
lent  for  this  corps.  Moreover,  the  French  Government 
was  the  paymaster,  and  had  merely  to  notify  that  it  could 
no  longer  recognise  it  for  the  bodyguard  to  cease  to  exist. 
This  was  the  little  corps  that  had  done  so  well  under 
Harcourt  in  the  Ardennes,  and  again  at  Landen.  Nor  did 
the  matter  stop  here. 

If  a  deposed  King  had  no  right  to  a  bodyguard,  it  was 
also  quite  clear  that  France,  being  at  peace  with  England , 
could  not  continue  to  pay  a  regiment  known  as  His  Britan- 
nic Majesty's  Guards.  This  regiment,  despite  its  heroism  at 
Landen  and  its  good  services  generally,  was  therefore 
disbanded,  and  finally  disappeared  from  the  list  of  Irish 
regiments  in  France.  Its  Colonel  was  General  William 
Dorington,  and  it  was  reformed  into  the  Dorington 
regiment,  of  which  we  shall  speak  a  little  further  on. 

James  was  thus  deprived  of  what  might  be  called  his 
military  household.  No  interference  was  attempted  with 
his  civil  establishment,  and  his  chief  advisers  continued  to 
be  called  Secretaries  of  State.  But  even  for  them  times 
were  changed,  and  they  were  no  longer  allowed  the  free 
access  to  French  Ministers,  which  they  had  hitherto 
enjoyed.  Lord  Middleton  went  over  to  Versailles  on  an 
occasion  in  February,  1698,  and  Lord  Portland,  who  got 
on  very  wfcll  with  Louis  and  received  from  him  his  portrait 
set  in  diamonds,  happened  to  be  there  at  the  same  time. 
Some  confusion  and  embarrassment  arose,  and  Louis 
begged  the  gentlemen  from  St.  Germains  not  to 

356          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

attend  on  those  days  that  he  received  the  British  am- 

These  were  indications  of  the  change  that  had  taken 
place.  A  less  embarrassing  meeting  of  the  opposing 
representatives  of  England  occurred  a  little  later  when  King 
James  was  present  at  a  review  of  French  troops  at  Gre- 
villon  near  Poissy.  Portland  does  not  seem  to  have  been 
there,  but  his  son,  Lord  Woodstock,  was,  and  his  suite  was 
largely  represented,  and  they  were  all  said  to  be  greatly 
impressed  by  the  good  looks  of  the  young  Prince  of  Wales, 
who  was  now  ten  years  of  age.  King  James  had  a  long  talk 
with  a  Dutch  gentleman,  Mr.  Wassenaer,  in  the  confidence 
of  King  William,  but  his  efforts  to  obtain  some  recognition 
from  the  English  gentlemen  present  are  stated  to  have  failed. 

Some  of  the  great  French  nobles  who  knew  James,  not 
as  a  man  of  business  and  politician,  but  as  a  sportsman, 
sympathised  with  him  in  the  days  of  his  adversity,  and  one 
of  them  found  an  opportunity  of  showing  this  in  administer- 
ing a  snub  to  Lord  Portland.  The  Due  de  Rochefoucauld 
was  Grand  Huntsman  to  the  King  of  France,  and  King  James 
found  his  only  amusement  in  following  the  hounds.  James 
was  not  merely  a  good  rider,  but  an  accomplished  horseman. 
As  such  he  was  very  much  admired,  and  was  generally  in  at 
the  death.  One  of  the  hospitable  acts  of  Louis  had  been  to 
place  the  hunt  at  James's  disposal,  and  to  request  Roche- 
foucauld to  take  his  orders  from  the  King  of  England. 
Lord  Portland  was  also  a  keen  sportsman,  and  one  day  he 
expressed  his  desire  to  attend  a  great  meeting  when  the 
meute  of  sixty  big  dogs  assembled.  The  Due  de  Roche- 
foucauld replied  in  the  most  icy  tone  of  formal  politeness  : 
"  I  have  the  honour,  it  is  true,  to  be  the  Grand  Veneur, 
but  I  do  not  arrange  the  hunts.  It  is  from  King  James  that 
I  take  my  orders,  and  although  he  comes  often  to  the  meet, 
I  do  not  know  until  almost  the  moment  of  setting  out." 
It  is  said  that  Portland  was  very  mortified  and  not  sorry  to 
quit  Paris  when  he  gave  up  the  embassy  to  his  successor, 
Lord  Jersey. 


The  only  person  among  the  Jacobites  to  whom  Louis 
extended  a  large  measure  of  his  goodwill  was  the  Duke  of 
Berwick.  Berwick  had  done  well  in  the  army,  and  he  had 
also  shown  that  he  possessed  extraordinarily  good  judgment 
and  tact.  He  had  been  tried  in  many  situations  and  never 
found  wanting.  At  the  time  of  his  marriage,  in  1695,  with 
Honora  de  Burgh,  widow  of  Sarsfield,  Earl  of  Lucan,  Louis 
had  assigned  him  a  suite  of  rooms  at  Marly,  and  when  peace 
was  approaching,  in  the  summer  of  1697,  he  granted  him 
a  pension  of  12,000  francs,  to  be  enjoyed  in  addition  to  his 
pay  as  Lieutenant-General.  His  brother,  the  Duke  of 
Albemarle,  the  Lord  Grand  Prior  (generally  called  in 
France  "  le  cadet  de  Berwick "),  also  benefited  by  his 
popularity,  and  got  a  pension  of  2000  ecus  in  addition  to  his 
pay  as  Chef  d'Escadron  in  the  French  Navy. 

If  James  suffered  from  the  Peace  of  Ryswyck  in  his  state, 
and  in  the  deprivation  of  some  of  the  attributes  of  royalty, 
the  sufferings  of  his  unfortunate  Irish  soldiers  proved 
incomparably  greater,  and  reduced  with  little  or  no  warning 
the  majority  of  an  army  of  warriors  to  a  condition  of 
indigence  and  misery  that  defies  description,  and  that 
those  who  have  only  thought  it  their  mission  to  extol 
the  glory  of  the  Irish  Brigade  have  consistently 

Louis  made  peace  primarily  and  above  all  things  for 
financial  reasons.  His  resources  were  strained,  the  taxes 
were  producing  less,  no  new  sources  of  revenue  could  be 
found,  and  the  commerce  of  the  country  had  seriously 
declined  since  Tourville's  defeat  at  La  Hogue.  Besides, 
wars  had  been  discovered  to  be  unprofitable.  Victory 
brought  no  advantage.  The  successful  generals  were  afraid 
to  follow  up  their  successes  lest  their  armies  should  starve. 
Experience  had  shown  that  Germany  was  an  exceedingly 
poor  country,  in  which  an  invading  army  could  not  be  fed. 
The  Belgian  provinces,  always  productive,  had  been  drained 
and  exhausted  by  the  long  wars.  From  every  point  of  view 
peace  was  desirable,  and  there  was  urgent  need  also  to  secure  a 

358          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

cessation  of  the  immense  outlay,  and  to  allow  of  the 
recovery  of  exhausted  nature. 

Louis  turned  his  attention  to  economies,  and  the  first 
step  he  took  was  the  reduction  of  his  armies  to  a  peace 
establishment.  A  peace  establishment  meant  the  reduction 
of  the  army  by  three-fifths.  If  we  fix  the  total  strength  of 
all  the  French  armies  in  1697  at  250,000  men,  the  meaning 
of  this  reduction  was  that  by  January,  1698,  150,000  of 
them  had  been  dismissed  and  sent  to  their  homes.  For 
the  French  soldier  this  was  no  hardship  ;  it  was  rather  the 
reverse  of  one.  The  fields  needed  tillage,  the  vineyards 
called  for  attention.  Throughout  France  there  was  such  a 
scarcity  of  labour  due  to  the  wars  and  the  exile  of  the 
Huguenots  that  only  women  and  children  remained  avail- 
able. The  reduction  of  the  army  was  for  the  French 
soldier  and  people  a  positive  blessing  and  advantage. 

Nor  was  it  a  hardship  for  the  Swiss,  Flemish,  or  Walloon 
mercenaries  fighting  under  the  white  cockade.  Their 
homes  were  not  far  off.  For  many  of  them  also  was  there 
work  to  do  and  a  living  to  be  gained  in  their  own  lands. 

But  these  conditions  did  not  apply  to  the  poor  Irish. 
They  had  no  home  to  return  to.  They  had  given  up  all 
to  follow  a  myth,  urged  thereto  by  a  short-sighted  and 
unreasoning  antipathy  to  their  brother  people.  Even  if 
they  had  wished  to  do  so  they  could  not  return  to  Ireland, 
for  on  the  morrow  of  the  Peace  of  Ryswyck,  William  had 
passed  a  law  ordering  none  who  had  served  the  Stuarts  to 
stay  or  be  received  in  the  three  Kingdoms  under  penalty  of 
being  indicted  for  treason.  Unlike  the  others,  then,  the 
Irish  had  no  place  of  retreat  or  retirement. 

When  the  capitulations  were  drawn  up  for  the  formation 
of  the  Mountcashell  Brigade  in  1690,  and  for  the  larger 
contingent  in  1692,  no  conditions  were  made  for  the  time 
when  peace  would  supersede  war.  The  Irish  soldiers  passed 
under  the  conditions  of  French  law  without  realising 
exactly  what  they  had  done.  Louis  had  said  very  charm- 
ingly and  very  hospitably  that  "  he  would  always  treat  the 


Irish  Catholics  who  came  to  his  Kingdom  as  his  own  sub- 
jects, and  that  he  would  see  that  they  enjoyed  the  same 
rights  as  native-born  Frenchmen  without  their  being 
obliged  to  take  out  letters  of  naturalisation."  But  "  the 
same  rights  "  carry  with  them  the  same  obligations  and 
penalties,  even  when  they  weigh  with  peculiar  hardship  on 
the  individual  as  in  the  case  under  consideration.  In  1690 
and  1692  it  was  not  to  be  expected  that  Louis  should  look 
too  far  ahead  and  attempt  to  provide  for  all  contingencies. 
He  was  satisfied  that  in  the  Irish  contingent  he  was  obtain- 
ing some  return  for  his  great  sacrifices  on  behalf  of  the 
Stuarts.  And  as  for  the  Irish  they  did  not  look  ahead  at 
all.  The  leaders  were  set  on  gaining  military  distinction  in 
the  French  army,  the  men  followed  like  sheep  where  they 
were  led. 

The  Irish  having  become  for  all  practical  purposes 
French  subjects,  they  could  not  expect  to  escape  the 
common  lot.  A  privileged  position  could  not  be  created 
expressly  for  them.  The  French  army  could  not  be  reduced 
to  less  than  one-half  its  strength,  and  the  two  Irish  con- 
tingents preserved  in  their  integrity.  The  same  edict 
applied  to  all,  and  its  effect  was  as  follows  : — 

The  Mountcashell  Brigade,  with  its  three  regiments  of 
Lee  (Mountcashell),  Clare  and  Dillon,  each  of  which  had 
been  increased  to  three  battalions  in  1692,  as  described,  was 
reduced  by  the  suppression  of  two  battalions  apiece.  Each 
regiment  was  to  be  restricted  to  one  battalion  of  fourteen 
companies  of  fifty  men  each,  or  a  total  of  seven  hundred 
men.  In  this  corps  alone  4000  Irishmen  were  turned 
adrift ;  the  total  of  6000  with  the  colours  being  reduced  to 

The  other  Irish  contingent,  which  was  officially  known 
down  to  the  Peace  as  the  King  of  England's  army,  was 
treated  on  the  same  principle.  It  had  been  divided  in  1692 
into  the  two  household  troops,  two  cavalry  regiments, 
two  dragoon  regiments,  and  six  infantry  regiments  of  two 
battalions  each.  Its  total  strength  had  then  been  14,000 

360          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

men.  The  ravages  of  war  had  reduced  this  total  by  the  end 
of  1697  to  little  more  than  11,000  men,  and  that  was  the 
number  with  which  the  French  authorities  had  to  deal  at 
the  time  of  the  reduction.  As  some  of  the  battalions  were 
very  attenuated — notably  the  Guards,  which  after  Landen 
mustered  for  its  two  battalions  only  the  strength  of  one — 
the  task  of  reducing  this  corps  in  the  symmetrical  form 
desired  by  the  French  disciplinarian  was  simplified,  for  it 
was  deemed  necessary  in  their  case  to  suppress  whole 
regiments  and  not  merely  battalions. 

We  have  seen  how  the  two  household  troops  were 
abolished  as  being  no  longer  in  harmony  with  the  altered 
circumstances.  Of  the  two  cavalry  regiments  one — Lord 
Galmoye's — was  abolished.  The  other,  called  after  General 
Sheldon,  its  commander,  was  preserved.  The  two  regiments 
of  Dragoons,  called  the  Royal  and  the  Queen's,  were  totally 
suppressed.  The  six  regiments  of  infantry  of  two  bat- 
talions each  were  reduced  to  four  regiments  of  one  battalion 
each.  These  four  regiments  received  new  names,  taking 
those  of  their  Colonels.  They  were  the  following  :  Doring- 
ton,  Berwick,  Albemarle,  and  Bourke.  Each  of  these 
battalions  was  of  the  recognised  strength  of  seven  hundred 
men  divided  into  fourteen  companies  of  fifty  men  each. 

The  Irish  contingent,  titularly  subject  to  King  James, 
was  thus  reduced  to  a  cavalry  regiment  of  300  men  and 
2800  infantry.  If  we  take  the  effective  strength  of  the 
corps  at  the  declaration  of  peace  to  have  been  no  more  than 
11,000  men,  we  find  that  from  this  force  8000  Irishmen 
were  turned  adrift  in  a  foreign  land.  Joining  the  figures  of 
the  two  contingents  together,  it  follows  that  nearly  12,000 
Irishmen  in  all  were  suddenly  deprived  of  their  only  source 
of  livelihood. 

It  would  be  most  interesting  to  follow  the  peregrinations 
of  some  of  these  unfortunate  exiles  during  the  four  years 
after  Ryswyck,  but  there  are  no  materials  for  the  purpose. 
They  suffered  in  silence,  and  we  can  only  imagine  what  their 
hardships  must  have  been  in  the  nature  of  things  and  from 

THE   PEACE    OF    RYSWYCK  361 

the  indirect  evidence  that  has  come  down  to  us.  Under 
any  circumstances  the  situation  thus  created  could  not  fail 
to  be  hard  on  the  individual,  but  there  were  many  aggra- 
vations of  it  in  the  case  under  consideration.  The  Irish  did 
not  know  French,  and  for  some  reason  or  other  the  French 
authorities  did  not  trouble  themselves  to  provide  facilities  for 
their  learning  the  language  of  their  new  country.  It  almost 
seems  as  if  the  French  continued  to  regard  them  as  guests 
rather  than  as  fellow-subjects,  and  to  think  that  a  Stuart 
revival  might  recall  them  to  England.  Thus  it  has  always 
appeared  to  me  one  of  the  most  extraordinary  phenomena 
in  this  topsy-turvydom  of  Anglo-Irish  relations  that  the 
Irish  exiles  who  went  out  of  Ireland  through  hatred  of 
England  in  the  seventeenth  century  preserved  the  use  of 
the  English  language  as  long  as  there  was  a  brigade  in 
existence,  and  that  the  men  who  charged  the  English 
column  at  Fontenoy  under  Lally  were  addressed  by  him  in 
English  and  replied  in  English.  So  also  did  the  prisoners  of 
the  regiment  de  Lally,  taken  in  India  after  the  battle  of 
Wandewash,  speak  in  our  common  tongue. 

But  the  limitation  of  the  linguistic  attainments  of  the 
disbanded  Irish  soldiers  after  Ryswyck  was  a  serious 
aggravation  of  their  troubles.  One  of  its  direct  conse- 
quences was  that  they  flocked  to  the  same  place,  and  tended 
to  herd  together.  St.  Germains  became  full  of  Irish 
beggars,  Montmartre  was  also  crowded  with  them.  They 
had  no  qualifications  for  civil  life.  They  knew  no  trade, 
they  had  no  industry,  they  were  skilful  at  nothing.  The 
explanation  was  not  that  they  were  dull  or  stupid,  but 
simply  that  in  Ireland  there  had  been  no  opportunity  to 
follow  the  pursuits  of  the  ordinary  citizen.  One  thing  alone 
they  had  mastered,  the  profession  of  the  soldier.  They  had 
learnt  it  in  the  hardest,  but  the  most  instructive,  of  all 
schools,  that  of  dire  necessity,  and  now  just  at  the  moment 
that  they  are  reaching  a  stage  of  absolute  excellence  if  not 
perfection  in  the  art  of  war,  the  prop  is  struck  from  under 
them,  and  they  are  left  bewildered  and  resourceless  to  face 

362          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

the  frowns  and  the  neglect  of  a  hard  world.  It  is  not 
merely  that  their  only  resource  in  life  has  been  taken  from 
them.  They  are  no  longer  of  any  use  to  the  French  people. 
They  are  only  an  encumbrance,  taking  away  so  much  of  the 
much-needed  and  desperately  limited  supply  of  the  bread 
of  France.  In  every  sense  of  the  word  they  are  aliens,  and 
behind  them  are  locked  and  double  barred  the  doors  of 
their  own  country. 

Poor  King  James  pities  them  as  they  flock  round  the 
gates  of  his  chateau  at  St.  Germains,  but  what  can  he  do 
for  12,000  men  suddenly  deprived  of  all  their  means  of 
existence  ?  He  has  £2000  a  month  to  provide  for  all  his 
family,  and  all  the  members  of  his  Court  who  have  given 
up  their  worldly  possessions  for  his  cause.  There  is  not  one 
of  them  with  any  resources  of  his  own.  The  King  has  to 
help  in  a  larger  or  smaller  degree  all  of  them.  He  does  all 
he  can.  He  denies  himself  everything.  He  takes  fourteen 
Irish  Colonels,  and  sixteen  Irish  Lieutenant-Colonels  on  his 
pension  list,  and  he  allows  the  former  thirty  sols  and  the 
latter  twenty-five  sols  a  day.  This  mere  pittance  (the 
equivalent  of  is.  3d.  and  is.  a  day)  could  not  go  far,  but  it 
was  marvellous  what  a  man  could  live  on  in  the  France  of 
old  days  without  derogating  from  his  gentility.  These 
were  the  fortunate  ones ;  the  majority  were  not  so  happy, 
for  they  got  nothing. 

Many  received  their  lodging,  the  hospitality  at  least  of  a 
roof,  in  the  chateau  of  St.  Germains,  and  thus  began  the 
practice  of  treating  it  as  a  sort  of  asylum  for  the  poor  Irish, 
which  was  not  broken  till  the  French  Revolution.  But 
these  were  only  the  minority.  What  the  greater  number 
did,  God  alone  knew.  Some  of  the  higher-placed  personages 
spared  James's  pockets  by  seeking  charity  elsewhere. 
Anthony  Hamilton  found  a  home  with  his  sister,  the 
Countess  of  Gramont,  in  the  villa  of  Le  Moulineau  in  the 
park  of  Versailles,  given  her  by  Louis  XIV.  Richard  Hamil- 
ton was  the  constant  guest  of  the  Cardinal  de  Bouillon,  who 
kept  open  house  for  the  Irish  officers.  He  visited  other 


houses,  like  that  of  the  Croissys,  and  wherever  he  went  he 
gained  the  reputation  of  being  an  agreeable  and  amiable 
gentleman.  No  doubt  the  officers  fortunate  enough  to  be 
kept  on  the  full  establishment  of  the  army,  like  Dorington, 
Lee,  and  Roth,  did  what  they  could  to  help  their  less 
fortunate  brethren  in  arms,  but  it  must  have  been  very 
little,  for  the  diminution  in  the  strength  of  the  regiments 
had  materially  reduced  the  Colonel's  recompense,  and  no 
one  could  pretend  that  the  pay  of  the  lower  grades  among 
the  officers  was  more  than  sufficient  for  their  own  needs. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  too,  the  colonelcy  of  a  regiment  no 
longer  brought  in  the  £800  a  year  in  poundage  which  it 
had  done  when  Lord  Mountcashell  first  received  his  com- 
mission in  the  French  army.  Even  if  the  men  had  been 
mulcted  the  sol  in  the  livre  it  would  not  have  produced  for 
the  chief  over  £300  a  year,  and  the  deduction  had  become 
so  unpopular  with  the  men  that,  shortly  after  the  Peace, 
Louis  saw  fit  to  abolish  the  custom,  and  to  pay  it  to  the 
colonels  out  of  the  sixteen  deniers  hitherto  deducted 
from  the  soldier's  nominal  pay  for  his  food.  To  com- 
pensate the  Colonel  for  the  difference  between  the  sol 
(sou  =  twelve  deniers)  and  the  four  deniers  paid  him  under 
the  new  order,  the  Colonel's  pay  was  raised  from  2700  to 
4700  livres  a  year.  There  was  not  much  margin  here  for  the 
support  of  others. 

The  principal  relief  for  the  poor  Irish  came  from  the 
Church.  The  Papal  Nuncio  made  a  grant  of  25,000  livres 
for  the  purpose — an  immense  sum  for  that  period.  The 
Archbishop  of  Rheims  was  another  benefactor ;  the  Abbe 
Bailly  devoted  all  his  time  and  income  to  alleviate  the 
sufferings  of  the  Irish  soldiery,  and  when  he  died  a  few 
years  later  he  bequeathed  all  his  fortune  for  the  same 
purpose.  Some  relief,  too,  came  from  an  unexpected 
quarter.  By  the  Treaty  of  Ryswyck  the  Duke  of  Lorraine 
recovered  his  province,  and  he  sent  his  trusty  friend  and 
brother  in  arms,  Count  Taaffe,  to  Nancy  to  take  over  the 
Government.  Some  of  the  Irish  troops  dismissed  from  the 

364          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE   BOYNE 

army  of  the  Rhine  came  to  him  and  were  given  employment 
in  the  Ducal  service.  Taaffe,  both  of  whose  brothers  had 
been  killed  in  Ireland  in  James's  cause,  was  really  Earl  of 
Carlingford,  and  he  was  the  only  Irish  Catholic  nobleman 
whose  estates  were  not  escheated  by  William,  and  against 
whom  the  Act  of  Attainder  was  waived  by  that  Prince. 
Count  Taaffe  was  a  friend  in  need  to  many  of  the  Irish. 
On  the  other  hand,  he  induced  a  certain  number  of  them  to 
exchange  the  French  for  the  Emperor's  service. 

Other  sympathisers  included  the  doctors  of  the  Sorbonne, 
who  raised  a  subscription  among  themselves  for  the  Irish 
sufferers.  So  unusual  a  course  in  the  seventeenth  century 
testifies  in  itself  to  the  magnitude  of  the  distress  and  to 
the  publicity  it  had  aroused.  The  poor  Queen  Mary  of 
Modena,  whose  dowry,  if  it  had  only  been  paid  by  William, 
would  have  been  received  at  a  most  opportune  moment, 
did  what  she  could  to  mitigate  the  troubles,  and  there  are 
occasional  references  to  raffles  for  the  benefit  of  the 
sufferers.  The  situation  of  the  Irish  in  France  was  aggra- 
vated by  the  arrival  of  the  persons  expelled  from  Ireland 
under  the  penal  laws.  These  men  brought  no  property 
with  them,  and  their  needs  only  swelled  the  sum  total  of 
the  prevalent  distress.  On  this  point  James  wrote  a 
paragraph  which  completes  the  picture  by  one  who 
certainly  did  not  look  on  unmoved  at  the  misfortunes  of  his 
followers  : — 

"  The  Bill  of  Banishment  which  followed  immediately 
upon  the  peace  was  a  fresh  subject  of  trouble  and  additional 
burthen  to  the  King.  The  Parliament  in  England  passed 
an  act  to  make  it  high  treason,  not  only  for  any  to  correspond 
with  the  King,  but  obliged  all  those  who  had  been  in  his 
service  since  the  Revolution,  or  even  in  France  itself, 
except  with  a  pass  from  the  government,  to  quit  the 
Dominions  in  a  day  prefixed,  or  be  guilty  of  high  treason 
ex  'post  facto  without  a  possibility  of  avoiding  it,  which  was 
such  a  piece  of  cruelty  and  injustice  as  has  not  been  equalled 
in  any  Government.  This  his  Majesty  sayd  afflicted  him 


more  than  all  the  rest.  He  was  sensible  what  he  had 
suffered  himself  was  nothing  comparatively  to  what  his 
past  disorders  might  justly  deserve,  but  to  see  his  Loyal 
subjects  so  used  for  their  fidelity  to  him,  was  what  made 
him  stand  in  need  of  a  more  than  ordinary  grace  to  support. 
He  had  the  like  vexatious  news  from  Ireland  too,  the  Prince 
of  Orange,  notwithstanding  all  his  fair  pretences  to  the 
Confederate  Princes,  even  during  the  Conference  at 
Ryswyck,  passed  a  new  law  in  that  Kingdom  for  the  rooting 
out  of  Popery,  which  amongst  other  articles  ordered  the 
banishment  of  all  Regular  Priests  which  M.  Ruvigny, 
who  commanded  there,  failed  not  to  put  in  execution  ;  so 
that  they  came  flocking  over  into  France,  and  above  four 
hundred  arrived  there  in  some  months  after.  The  relief 
of  these  distressed  persons,  together  with  such  numbers  of 
other  Catholics  as  these  Bills  of  Banishment  forced  out  of 
the  Kingdoms,  brought  a  new  burthen  as  was  said  upon  the 
King,  who  had  the  mortification,  even  after  having  dis- 
tributed amongst  them  what  was  necessary  for  his  own 
support,  to  see  great  numbers  ready  to  perish  for  want 
without  his  being  able  to  relieve  them." 

The  Peace  of  Ryswyck  with  its  accompanying  con- 
sequences seemed  to  exercise  a  baneful  influence  on  James's 
character.  It  meant  the  extinction  of  his  hopes  of  recover- 
ing his  throne,  and  left  him  no  resource  save  the  practice  of 
the  severer  forms  of  his  religion.  He  sank  into  a  moody 
lethargy  from  which  nothing  could  rouse  him.  The 
fatalism*  inerte  which  had  characterised  his  conduct  in 
Ireland  became  more  marked,  and  he  showed  by  his  conduct 
and  his  observations  that  he  regarded  his  misfortunes  as 
Heaven's  punishment  for  his  faults.  It  is  said  that  he 
tortured  himself  by  wearing  a  spiked  belt  next  his  skin, 
and  certainly  he  observed  all  the  fasts  so  strictly  that  he 
was  often  on  the  verge  of  starvation.  But  it  must  always 
seem  strange  that  the  man  who  spared  no  effort  to  show 
that  he  had  cast  aside  all  human  considerations  and  sub- 
mitted himself  to  a  higher  law,  should  have  hung  on  to  the 

366          THE    BATTLE    OF   THE    BOYNE 

title  and  position  of  King  at  the  very  time  that  he  was 
ostentatiously  declining  to  play  the  part  appertaining 
thereto.  He  would  not  abdicate  in  set  form,  and  yet  he  had 
abdicated  in  reality.  So  far  as  he  was  concerned  the  Stuart 
cause  was  dead,  but  he  seemed  resolved  by  his  exhortations 
to  his  son  to  think  more  of  a  heavenly  than  an  earthly  crown, 
and  to  hold  fast  to  his  religion  that  it  should  never  come  to 
life  again.  He  passed  the  years  following  Ryswyck  in 
religious  meditation,  and  every  year  for  a  certain  period 
buried  himself  in  the  solitary  seclusion  of  La  Trappe. 

For  the  majority  of  men  the  sad  and  silent  Court  of  St. 
Germains  seemed  a  sufficiently  appropriate  place  of  pen- 
ance, and  as  James  always  paid  his  devotions  twice  a  day  in 
the  adjoining  chapel  some  one  composed  the  following 
quatrain  on  the  regularity  with  which  he  said  his  prayers  : — 

"  C'est  ici  que  Jacques  Second 
Sans  ministre  et  sans  maitresse 
Le  matin  allait  a  la  messe 
Et  le  soir  allait  au  sermon." 

The  sight  of  the  deposed  monarch  detaching  himself 
more  and  more  from  the  world  and  devoting  himself  more 
exclusively  to  his  religion  did  not  commend  itself  to  all 
observers.  The  Archbishop  of  Rheims  said  before  a  large 
circle  in  the  ante-chamber  of  St.  Germains,  after  James  had 
passed  through  on  his  return  from  chapel :  "  Voila  un 
bonhomme  qui  a  quitte  trois  royaumes  pour  une  messe." 
The  Archbishop  was  the  brother  of  the  late  minister 
Louvois,  who  certainly  was  no  believer  in  James's  capacity 
to  keep  or  regain  a  crown.  By  this  time  the  French 
Government  had  given  up  all  hope  of  making  use  of  James 
as  a  political  ally.  He  was  recognised  to  be  hopelessly 
unpractical.  His  information  had  always  been  proved 
false  and  misleading.  He  was  regarded  as  a  man  who 
brought  ill-fortune  to  every  undertaking  with  which  he 
was  connected.  Indeed,  he  was  given  to  proclaiming  the 
same  fact  himself. 

James's  own  admissions,  then,  may  be  regarded  as  the 


final  proof  of  the  state  of  distress  to  which  the  Irish  exiles 
were  reduced  by  the  peace.  Indeed,  it  was  a  case  about 
which  there  is  not  any  need  of  evidence.  Given  the 
established  facts,  about  which  there  can  be  no  dispute, 
the  inevitable  consequences  could  be  imagined  without  a 
single  record  in  support. 

The  Irish  suffered  in  enforced  silence.  There  was  no 
real  remedy,  but  during  the  four  years'  peace  their  ranks 
were  decimated  as  if  in  the  most  sanguinary  of  wars,  and  it 
was  with  a  far  weaker  Irish  contingent  that  the  recon- 
struction of  the  Irish  Brigade  was  carried  out  in  1701. 
But  it  was  fortunate  for  them  that  the  peace  did  not  last 
longer  than  it  did,  or  in  place  of  the  word  "  decimated  " 
it  might  have  been  necessary  to  have  penned  the  word 
"  exterminated."  We  do  not  lay  the  blame  for  the  neglect 
of  the  Irish  on  Louis's  shoulders.  It  was  a  hardship  created 
by  the  special  situation  that  arose  through  the  arrival  of  a 
large  alien  force  in  the  country  without  any  understand- 
ing or  arrangement  as  to  what  should  be  done  when 
the  fighting  ceased.  Moreover,  in  fairness  to  the  King  of 
France,  it  must  be  remembered  that  there  was  an  element 
of  uncertainty  and  doubt  as  to  the  stay  of  the  bulk  of  the 
force  in  France.  They  were  King  James's  men.  They 
could  have  been  employed  in  the  effort  to  recover  his  crown 
had  such  an  effort  been  made.  If  La  Hogue  had  not  been 
lost,  if  the  1696  expedition  had  really  landed  in  England, 
the  Irish  regiments  (excepting  the  original  Mountcashell 
Brigade)  would  have  quitted  France  perhaps  for  ever.  At 
least,  the  restoration  of  James,  which  was  always  hoped  for 
in  France,  would  have  led  to  the  departure  of  the  great 
bulk  of  the  Irish  troops. 

There  was  consequently  an  element  of  uncertainty  as  to 
their  permanent  stay  in  France,  which  has  never  been 
properly  appreciated.  Irish  popular  writers  have  always 
sought  to  represent  that  the  Irish  emigrants  after  Limerick 
went  abroad  to  found  a  new  Ireland  in  France.  Something 
of  the  sort  may  have  been  uppermost  in  their  own  mind, 


but  the  facts  are  that  on  landing  in  France  they  became  in 
form  and  in  fact  the  soldiers  of  James,  whose  chief  pride 
was  to  be  King  of  England.  They  were  twice  brigaded  to 
invade  England  for  the  purpose  of  regaining  his  English 
crown,  and  prior  to  Ryswyck  they  were  always  at  his  orders 
to  make  the  attempt.  Had  any  of  these  efforts  succeeded 
they  would  no  doubt  have  quitted  France  for  ever. 

If  we  bear  these  facts  in  mind,  and  principally  the  un- 
certainty of  their  stay  in  France,  we  shall  not  come  to  any 
other  conclusion  than  that  Louis  behaved  with  consider- 
able generosity  in  allowing  the  ordinary  Irish  regiments, 
subject  to  King  James,  to  be  retrenched  in  the  same  pro- 
portion as  the  regular  French  army  and  not  abolished 
altogether.  No  doubt  he  had  his  eye  on  future  contin- 
gencies, and  foresaw  the  arrival  of  a  time  when  the  whole 
of  the  Brigade  would  be  included  in  his  own  army.  No 
doubt,  also,  he  had  been  favourably  impressed  by  the 
warlike  capacity  of  the  Irish  soldiers.  But  prudent  calcula- 
tions are  not  to  be  considered  destructive  of  all  right  to  a 
claim  for  generosity.  Generosity  was  the  main  element  in 
Louis's  treatment  of  the  Stuarts,  and  of  the  Irish,  and  to 
represent  that  he  had  material  motives  as  well  is  no  detrac- 
tion from  his  merit.  He  was  a  great  ruler  confronted  by 
enormously  great  responsibilities.  He  could  not  be  ex- 
pected to  ignore  the  fact  that  the  Stuart  succession  and  the 
Irish  problem,  as  it  presented  itself  at  the  end  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  were  factors  in  Europe  that  might 
tell  in  his  favour.  He  could  not  be  indifferent  to  them 
because  there  were  so  few  that  did. 

Let  us  leave  the  great  ones  of  the  earth  to  the  judgment  and 
rejudgment  of  history,  ever  changing  in  its  verdicts  by  the 
light  of  new  facts,  the  reception  of  fresh  impressions  and 
the  removal  of  old  prejudices,  and  endeavour  to  draw  some 
useful  lessons,  some  sound  general  deductions,  from  the  lot 
and  experiences  of  the  poor  Irish  exiles  in  France.  Of  Louis 
and  of  James  it  is  safe  to  say  that  they  will  receive,  as  their 
epoch  passes  into  the  true  focus  for  faithful  reproduction,  a 

THE   PEACE    OF    RYSWYCK  369 

larger  measure  of  justice  and  tolerant  appreciation.  But  who 
will  think  of  the  sufferings  of  the  Irish  emigrants,  who  went 
away  from  their  country  in  1691,  "  out  of  pure  devotion  to 
his  cause,"  said  James,  whilst  Sarsfield  declared  it  was  "  to 
found  a  new  Ireland  in  France  "  ?  And  who  will  have  the 
courage  to  declare  that  it  was  one  of  the  most  stupendous 
blunders  that  the  Irish  themselves  ever  committed,  or  that 
an  English  ruler  ever  allowed  ?  The  person  mainly  respon- 
sible for  that  act  of  short-sighted  policy  was  William  of 
Orange — a  foreigner  who  thought  nothing  of  the  common 
vital  interests  of  the  two  sister  islands,  but  only  of  his  own 
immediate  need  to  get  his  continental  army  out  of  Ireland. 

We  must  assume  that  the  Irish  who  marched  past 
Limerick  stone,  who  would  not  left-wheel  or  right-wheel 
as  the  case  might  be  when  they  reached  it,  went  out  of 
their  country  because  they  would  not  submit  to  the 
English.  The  decision  not  to  submit  to  any  antagonist 
excites  our  admiration,  and  we  can  say  whole-heartedly 
and  unreservedly  that  the  men  who  followed  Sarsfield  and 
their  hereditary  chiefs  into  exile  did  a  fine  thing,  of  which 
every  Irishman  may  feel  proud.  But  the  question  cannot 
be  left  there.  Individuals  may  do  a  very  fine  thing,  and 
yet  when  the  whole  question  comes  to  be  examined  in  a 
later  generation,  when  each  incident  has  to  be  fitted  into  its 
proper  place  so  that  a  comprehensive  view  may  be  taken  of 
the  transaction  or  episode,  the  fine  thing  is  seen  to  have  been 
only  a  stupendous  blunder,  a  permanent  injury  to  the 
people  concerned,  and  a  useless  waste  of  national  forces. 

Ireland  was  all  the  poorer  for  that  emigration  of  the 
pick  of  her  manhood,  and  it  is  not  going  too  far  to  say  that 
in  some  of  her  counties  it  entailed  a  permanent  decline  in 
the  physical  stature  of  the  people  which  has  never  been 
arrested.  As  has  been  already  pointed  out,  the  departure 
of  the  great  majority  of  the  survivors  of  James's  Irish  army 
left  those  who  remained  at  home  entirely  at  the  mercy  of 
William's  Parliaments.  It  is  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  the 
Irish  Catholic  peasantry,  for  a  century  after  the  Treaty  of 

2  A 

370          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

Limerick,  was  reduced  to  the  lowest  state  of  serfdom  verging 
on  savagery.  This  policy  of  repression  could  not  have  been 
attempted  if  the  20,000  stalwarts,  who  sported  the  White 
Cockade,  had  only  remained  in  Ireland  to  look  after  their 
own  and  their  country's  interests  in  a  proper  way. 

There  would  have  been  at  least  one  clear  consequence. 
The  English  recruiting  sergeant,  who  was  forbidden  for  a 
whole  century  to  recruit  in  Ireland,  would  have  plied  a 
busy  trade  in  Ireland  during  Maryborough's  wars,  and  the 
laurels  which  would  have  been  gained  in  establishing  the 
Imperial  power  of  England  instead  of  under  the  Fleurs-de-Lis 
would  have  contributed  to  heal  the  breach  between  the  two 
brother  nations,  and  to  hasten  the  conclusion  of  the  firm 
and  indissoluble  union  which  is  so  vital  for  them  both. 
But  instead  of  that  natural  and  desirable  working  out  of  a 
racial  and  religious  problem  the  Irish  went  away  to  the  land 
which  was  then  thought  to  be  "  England's  hereditary 
enemy,"  and  they  were  arrayed  against  their  English 
brothers  for  the  better  part  of  half  a  century.  In  that  time 
they  gained  much  military  glory,  they  became  known  among 
the  bravest  of  the  brave,  and  to  a  considerable  extent  they 
preserved  the  Irish  reputation  during  the  dark  period  of 
the  eighteenth  century  when  all  Englishmen  treated 
Ireland  with  scorn  and  contumely. 

But  it  is  impossible  to  avoid  the  conclusion  that  this  was 
but  a  poor  return  for  so  much  devotion,  so  much  self- 
sacrifice,  so  much  suffering.  Never,  it  might  be  contended, 
was  there  such  an  unprofitable  waste  of  national  force.  The 
sum  total  of  the  good  that  this  ever-dwindling  band  of 
Irishmen,  however  heroic,  were  able  to  do  in  the  interests 
of  a  rich  and  powerful  country  like  France  must  have  been 
small,  whereas  the  direct  and  indirect  injury  to  their  own 
country  by  their  going  out  of  it  may  be  affirmed  to  have  been 
very  considerable. 

Nor  did  they  do  themselves  any  good  in  the  land  of  their 
adoption.  They  obtained  no  definite  status,  they  received 
no  grant  of  lands,  they  were  so  many  social  pariahs  until 

THE    PEACE    OF    RYSWYCK  371 

the  call  to  arms  resounded  through  the  land,  and  then  it  was 
remembered  that  they  were  good  at  righting.  The  Irish 
exiles  were  poor  beggars  ("  pauvres  gueux  "  when  they  were 
not  merely  "  pauvres  diables  ")  until  there  was  need  to  use 
them  as  "  food  for  powder."  Even  if  we  take  count  only  of 
the  higher  grades,  the  recognition  was  meagre.  A  higher 
rank  than  Lieutenant-General,  which  did  not  carry 
independent  command,  was  never  conferred  on  a  soldier  of 
Irish  birth  or  descent  for  half  a  century  after  Limerick, 
and  then  only  in  the  solitary  case  of  the  second  Viscount 
Clare,  who  was  known  in  the  French  army  as  Marshal 
Thomond.  Yet  we  shall  come  across  in  the  sequel  many 
instances  where  it  was  deserved. 

The  explanation  of  this  neglect,  of  this  inequality  of 
treatment,  is  not  to  be  found  in  any  petty  jealousy  among 
the  heads  of  the  French  army.  It  was  due  exclusively  to  the 
fact  that  the  highest  army  commands  were  always  a 
reflection  of  Court  life  and  Court  favour.  To  be  a  Marshal 
of  France  was  the  prescriptive  right  of  the  noblest  and 
most  ancient  families  of  the  country.  There  was  no  room 
in  such  a  system  for  outsiders,  least  of  all  was  there  room 
for  the  poor  Irish  leaders  so  cramped  in  their  poverty.  In 
the  eighteenth  century  down  to  the  Revolution  only  two 
foreigners  besides  Thomond  attained  the  Marshalate. 
They  were  Berwick  and  Saxe,  both,  curiously  enough,  the 
natural  sons  of  Kings.  But  although  it  is  the  somewhat 
loose  practice  to  speak  of  Berwick  as  if  he  were  an  Irish 
general,  because  he  led  the  Irish  troops  in  the  field,  he  was 
not  one,  and  this  half  Stuart,  half  Churchill,  was  never  very 
appreciative  of  his  Irish  colleagues.  He  was  perhaps  too 
cold,  cautious,  and  self-restrained  for  their  effusive  tem- 

The  point  of  these  observations  is  that  the  Irish  them- 
selves did  not  obtain  the  personal  satisfaction  in  the  French 
army  that  they  might  have  expected  and  that  their 
services  entitled  them  to  receive.  In  other  armies,  in 
Austria,  Russia,  and  Spain,  Irish  officers  rose  to  the  highest 

372          THE   BATTLE   OF   THE   BOYNE 

rank  and  led  large  armies  in  the  field.  In  France  this  never 
happened,  although  she  possessed  an  Irish  Brigade  for  half  a 
century  and  Irish  regiments  for  twice  as  long.  There  was  no 
breaking  through  the  caste  or  custom  of  French  procedure 
in  such  matters.  The  Irish  officers  were  only  held  good 
enough  for  the  subordinate  positions,  and  the  unfortunate 
Lally,  probably  the  greatest  military  genius  of  them  all, 
was  only  held  good  enough  for  the  block. 

By  the  force  of  things,  by  the  insuperable  barrier  of 
ancient  privilege,  the  Irish  officers  of  any  pretension  to 
high  command  could  not  find  contentment  for  their 
aspirations  in  the  French  service.  But  they  had  committed 
themselves  to  a  course  from  which  they  could  not  turn 
back.  They  had  to  make  the  best  of  their  position,  and  the 
long  war  that  marked  the  close  of  Louis's  reign  gave  them 
little  leisure  for  grumbling. 

Finally,  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  departure  of  the 
Irish  exiles  who  constituted  the  Brigade  in  France  in  no  way 
benefited  their  country.  It  did  not  bring  Irish  problems 
nearer  solution.  It  rather  tended  to  make  them  more 
difficult,  and  to  aggravate  a  sufficiently  complicated  and 
threatening  situation.  At  the  most,  the  only  beneficial 
consequence  that  I  can  see  from  it  is  that  it  was  no  longer 
possible  for  prejudiced  Englishmen  to  taunt  the  Irish  race 
with  cowardice.  It  is  only  as  furnishing  an  opportunity  for 
the  vindication  of  national  character  that  I  can  discover 
any  material  result  from  the  going  forth  of  the  Irish  after 
Limerick.  It  counts,  no  doubt,  but  it  could  have  been 
attained  in  a  much  more  practical  and  profitable  manner  if 
Englishmen  and  Irishmen  had  only  come  together  after  the 
Boyne  instead  of  fixing  upon  that  misjudged  and  ill- 
described  event — a  foreign  victory  on  British  soil — as  a 
line  of  cleavage. 

But  hard  as  is  always  the  exile's  lot,  it  may  be  questioned 
whether  any  fugitives  from  their  native  land  ever  had  a 
worse  experience  than  the  poor  Irish  after  the  conclusion  of 
the  Peace  of  Ryswyck.  They  must  have  been  brought  to  the 

THE    PEACE    OF    RYSWYCK  373 

lowest  depths  of  despair,  and  wished  themselves  back  in 
their  own  country.  If  William  had  only  known  what  was 
the  wise  course  for  the  country  upon  which  he  had,  half  by 
good  luck  and  half  by  the  division  of  English  political 
parties,  forced  his  foreign  rule,  he  would  have  sent  his  ships 
to  Brest  and  St.  Malo  for  the  purpose  of  offering  the  Irish 
free  passage  back  to  their  own  land.  There  can  be  no  doubt 
that  the  starving  men  would  have  greeted  the  offer  with 
effusion.  But  instead  of  seizing  the  opportunity  William 
fanned  the  flame  of  national  discord,  and  intensfied  the 
racial  animosity  by  passing  penal  laws  and  decreeing  whole- 
sale banishments.  These  were  the  acts  not  of  an  English- 
man but  of  a  foreigner,  who  did  not  know  England  and 
knew  still  less  of  Ireland.  The  foreign  conquest  of  England 
in  1688,  for  England  was  conquered  for  a  brief  space  by 
the  Prince  of  Orange  with  his  collection  of  continental 
levies,  stands  as  a  warning  to  all  time  that  when  party  strife 
reaches  the  acute  stage  of  passion  and  prejudice,  the  door 
lies  open  to  the  invader. 

We  leave  the  Irish  Brigade  at  the  lowest  stage  in  its 
fortunes,  when  it  is  threatened  with  slow  death  by  inani- 
tion and  starvation.  The  general  peace,  which  has  brought 
others  pleasure  and  content,  threatens  the  Irish  exiles  with 
ruin  and  extinction.  But  happily  for  them  it  is  not  to  prove 
too  long.  The  crisis  in  their  fate  will  be  surmounted.  In 
four  years  the  great  King  will  once  more  "fait  battre  le 
tambour"  and  then  he  will  bethink  him  of  his  brave  and 
unfortunate  Irish  auxiliaries. 

NOTE. — The  further  history  of  the  Irish  in  France  by  the  same  Author 
is  in  course  of  preparation,  and  the  volume  will  be  issued  next  year  under  the 


Abbeville,  47 

Abercorn,  Earl  of  (first),  67 

Abercorn,  Earl  of  (sixth),  244 

Abercorn  regiment,  176,  233 

Agnes,  Mother,  37 

Albemarle,  Duke  of,  357 

Albemarle  regiment,  360 

Albeville  (Marquis),  176,  199 

Albuquerque,  150 

Almonde,  Countess  d',  i  o,  1 8, 2  3, 3  2 

Amande,  M.  d',  163 

Amanze,  General  d',  93,  120,  318 

Ambleteuse,  22 

Amfreville,  Admiral,  136 

Anglure,  M.  d',  93 

Anne,  Princess,  203,  296 

Annecy,  219 

Anselm,  Father,  63,  250 

Antrim's  regiment,  151,  159,  167 

Antwerp,  329 

"  Apollon,"  the,  57 

Archives,  French,  216,  220 

Ardee,  125,  144 

Ardennes,  315 

Argelles,  221 

Arklow,  177 

Armstrong,  Captain,  138 

Arthur,  Colonel,  243 

Arthur,  Major,  160,  161 

Arthur,  Robert,  292 

Artillery  at  the  Boyne,  151 

Art  Macmurrogh,  60 

Artagnan,  Brigadier  d',  327 

Asfeld  Dragoons,  316 

Ashton,  John,  296,  297 

Ath,  349 

Athenry,  246 

Athlone,  145,  185 ;  successful 
defence  of,  186  ;  227,  228,  229; 
captured,  231 

Athlone  regiment,  317 

Aughrim,  233  ;  battle  of,  233-44 

Augsburg,  League  of,  1 1,  39,  56 

Aumont,  Due  d',  2 1 

Austria,  60 

Avaux,  Count  d',  51 ;  his  diplo- 
matic career,  52  ;  his  instruc- 
tions, 53 ;  his  opinion  of  James, 

83 ;  reports  on  Irish  soldiers, 
85  ;  his  plan  to  exchange  troops, 
86,  90-1 ;  denounces  Irish  dila- 
toriness,  87 ;  opposes  James, 
88  ;  joins  Council,  89 ;  writes 
Louvois,  90  ;  his  view  of  Anglo- 
Irish  relations,  97 ;  charged  by 
Macaulay  with  recommending 
Irish  St.  Bartholomew,  99-103  ; 
his  criticism  of  the  Hamiltons, 
no;  his  opinion  on  Derry  army, 
111;  and  Melfort,  1 1 2-7  ;  ac- 
cuses James  of  wasting  money, 
113;  reports  improvement  in 
Irish  army,  123;  128;  prepar- 
ing departure  of  Mountcashell 
Brigade,  131  ;  criticises  young 
Fitzjames,  132;  140,  141,  146, 
147 ;  forbidden  to  select  a 
Hamilton,  208 ;  opinion  of 
Mountcashell,  ibid. ;  considers 
eligible  officers,  213 

Avignon,  351 

Aylmer,  Sir  Garret,  103 

Bada,  Francis,  292 

Badges  at  the  Boyne,distinctive,  150 

Bagenal  regiment,  106 

Bagot,  Mark,  129 

Ballinasloe,  234 

Ballineedy,  189,  190 

Ballymore,  227,  228 

Baltinglass,  Lord,  267 

Banagher,  190 

Bangor,  124 

Bann,  the,  90 

Barbangon,  Prince,  310 

Barbets,  the,  218,  219,  293 

Barbezieux,  319 

Barcelona,  349 

Barclay,  Sir  George,  343, 344,  346, 


Bareges,  341 
Barker,  Brigadier,  243 
Barnewal,  Captain,  105 
Barnewal,  Captain  Patrick,  105 
Barrett,  Colonel  John,  205,  288, 

324.  325.  326,  328 
Barrett  regiment,  185,  204 




Base  money,  130 

Bass  Rock,  58 

Bastille,  the,  15,  45,345 

Bavaria,  Elector  of,  310,  341 

Beachy  Head,  187 

Beaumont,  22,  23 

Beaurepaire,    Lieutenant-Colonel, 


Beer,  107 
Bellefonds,  Marshal,  297,  302,  303, 


Bellew's  regiment,  Lord,  143,  267 

Bermingham  (family),  340 

Berwick,  Duke  of,  24,  28,  29,  32, 
47,  48,  54,  57,  59,  IJ4,  I3Iy 
137,  138,  144,  146,  147,  155, 
158,  159,  163,  176,  183, 
187,  191;  describes  siege  of 
Limerick,  194-6  ;  199  ;  recalled 
by  James,  200;  206,  224, 
225,  250,  289,  291,  293,  307, 
310;  describes  La  Hogue, 
301-3;  on  Steinkerk,  313; 
320,  322;  at  Landen,  325-6; 
his  capture,  329 ;  describes 
bombardment  of  Brussels,  341 ; 
visit  to  London,  343-4 ;  marries 
Sarsfield's  widow,  357 

Berwick's  Memoirs,  88 

Berwick  regiment,  360 

Bethune-Charost,  Due  de,  20 

Biddulph,  Mr.,  29 

Bietagh,  Thomas,  291 

Bir  Castle,  206 

Body-guard,  the  (James's),  159 

Boileau,  310 

Boisseleau,  48,  57,  93,  120,  121, 
136;  defends  Limerick,  187  et 
seq.;  his  report,  191-3;  201,  330 

Boisseleau  regiment,  192 

Bonneuil,  Count,  349 

Bophin,  Lord,  109,  243 

Boufflers,  Marshal,  308,  309,  313, 
320,  321,  323,  330;  surrenders 
Namur,  342  ;  field  conferences 
with  Portland,  350-3 

Bouillon,  Cardinal  de,  362 

Boulger  (different  members  of  this 
Leinster  sept),  57,  210,  211,  288 

Boulogne,  21,  22,  29 

Bourbonnais  Brigade,  the,  311,312 

Bourg  la  Reine,  51 

Bouridal,  M.,  216 

Bourges,  214 

Bourk,  Colonel  David,  243 

Bourk,  Colonel  Ulick,  243 

Bourk,  Colonel  Walter,  233,  239 

Bourke,  Colonel,  360 

Bourke,  Colonel  Miles,  227 

Bourke,  Colonel  Thomas,  79 

Bourke  regiment,  360 

Boyne,  Battle  of  the,  see  Chapter 
vi;  summarised  by  a  French 
wit,  148 ;  strength  of  armies, 
148,  151;  won  by  foreigners, 
148;  a  mist  conceals  first 
movements,  150  ;  James's  order 
of  battle,  151 ;  Council  of  War 
at,  151 ;  James's  vacillation 
at,  152  ;  Macaulay's  description 
of,  153-4,  i56-7;  R-  Hamil- 
ton's part  in  the  battle,  155, 
157-8;  described  by  five  par- 
ticipants in  the  battle,  158;  no 
fortifications,  159;  heroism  of 
the  Irish  Guards,  160-1 ;  Old- 
bridge  long  held  by  Irish 
infantry,  161;  Schomberg's 
death  at,  ibid.;  William  crosses 
at  Donor  e,  162;  Dumont's 
evidence,  161-3;  Irish  cavalry 
charges,  163;  James's  narrative, 
164-6;  Plunkett's  description, 
166-70;  losses  at,  170;  fresh 
French  evidence  on,  1 7 1-5  ; 
Zurlauben's  report,  173-5;  Irish 
troops  retreat,  177;  a  foreign 
victory  on  British  soil,  372 

Boyne,  the  (river),  in,  144,  149 

Boynton,  Miss,  66 

Braganza,  Catherine  of,  66 

Brasil,  176 

Bray,  177 

"Breda,"  the,  205 

Breda,  64 

Brenan,  John,  267 

Brest,  56,  177,  283,  285,  339 

Breteuil,  24 

Brindijonc,  340 

Brittany,  Irish  in,  340 

Brittas,  Lord,  57 

Broadside,  a  notable,  82-3 

Broghall,  Edward,  292 

Browne,  Dominic,  247 

Browne,  Captain  John  (Neal),  103 

Browne,  Colonel  John,263,268,2  7 1 


Bruges,  287,  288 
Brussels,  65,  69,  308,  341,  342 
Bulkeley,  Lady  Sophia,  10,  32 
Bulkeley,  Miss  Anne  (afterwards 

Duchess  of  Berwick),  10 
Burel,  M.,  349 
Burgh,  Honora  de,  (Lady  Lucan 

and  Duchess  of  Berwick),  357 
Burgundy,  Duke  of,  348 
Butler,  Colonel  Edmund,  104 
Butler,  Edward,  104-5 
Butler,  Colonel  Richard,  210 
Butler,  Colonel  Thomas,  244 
Butler,  Sir  Toby,  263,  272 
Butler   regiment,   the,    209,    210, 

214,  215 
Butler,  Walter,  regiment,  106 

Cabre,  318 

Cannon, Colonel, 75,  in,  112,  287 
Callieres,  M.,  349 
Caillemotte,  155,  160,  161 
Calais,  9,  20,  35,  287 
"Campaign  of  the  Ladies,"  the,  308 
Carlingford,  Earl  of,  55  ;  killed  at 

Boyne,  163 

Carlingford  (town),  124 
Carny,  Sir  Charles,  164 
Carrickfergus,  124,  140 
Carroll,  Brian,  291 
Carroll,  Francis,  292,  334 
Carroll,  William,  79 
Carryll,  Secretary  of  State,  343 
Carter,  Vice- Admiral,  295, 299, 304 
Casaubon  (Cambon)  regiment,  163, 


Cashell,  Archbishop  of,  263,  267 
Catalonia,  217 
Catholics  deprived  of  arms,  74-5  ; 

again  stripped   of  lands,    202  ; 

rights  granted  to,  268-9  >  rights 

cancelled,  272-8 
Catinat,  Marshal,  217,  218,  219, 

3°9>  3*7.  3J8,  319,  320;  checks 

Duke  of  Savoy,  331;  wins  battle 

of  Marsaglia,  333-5,  349 
Cavalry  at  Aughrim,  misconduct 

of,  242 

Cavan,  137,  138 

Cevennes,  Protestants  in  the,  335 
Chalandieres,  318 
Chambery,  219 
Chamerade,  174,  176,  177 

Charce,  Mdlle.  de  la,  318 
Charlemont,  138,  141 
Charlemont  regiment,  291 
Charleroi,  330 
Charles  I,  60 
Charles  II,  n,  61,  64 
Charles  XI  (Sweden),  348 
Charles  XII  (Sweden),  348 
Charnock,  Mr.,  346 
Charters,  calling  in  the,  73 
Chartres,  Due  de,  311,  323 
Chateau  Renaud,  Admiral,  56,  93, 

94,    105,    121,  260,  261,    265, 

283,  288 
Chatou,  23 
Chaulnes,  Due  de,  51 
Cherbourg,  298 
Churchill,  Arabella,  37 
Churchill,  Brigadier,  325 
Churchill,    John,     68,    69.      See 


Civil  Articles  of  Limerick,  266-80 
Clancarty,  Earl  of  (first),  69 
Clancarty,    Earl   of  (third),    205, 

207,  213,  267 
Clancarty,  Countess  of,  68 
Clancarty  regiment,  204 
Clanrickarde,  Earl  of,  209,  247 
Clanrickarde,  Ulick   Marquis   of, 

209  ;  his  daughter,  ibid. 
Clanrickarde's  regiment,  151,  159, 

167,  243 
Clare,    Viscount    (various),     199, 

209,  317.  334,371 
Clare's  regiment,  162 
Clare  regiment,  317,  318,319,331, 


Clarendon,  Earl  of,  70,  71 
Clarendon's  History,  207 
Clark,  Captain,  9 
Clarke,  Rev.  J.  S.,  i6«,  179 
Clifford,  Brigadier,  257,  258,  259, 


Colclough,  Colonel  Dudley,  257 
Coleraine,  90 
Colgrave,  Colonel,  210 
Collier,  Sir  David,  263 
Colonel's  poundage,  213,  363 
Commons,  House  of,  62 
Compounders,  the,  338 
Coningsby,  Mr.,  264,  271 
Connel,  Brigadier,  243 
Conty,  Prince  of,  348 



Cook,  Matthew,  291 

Cork,  83,  84,85,  86,  87,  139,  183, 

185,  202,   203 

Cork,  garrison,  cruel  treatment  of 

the,  204,  287-8 
Coulanges,  105 
"  Courageux,"  the,  57 
Courtassier,  135 
Coverent,  131 
Crafton,  Felicite,  211 
Crafton,  Colonel  Henry,  211 
Crane,  Mr.,  58 
Craven,  Earl  of,  27 
Creagh  (Bishop  of  Cork),  199 
Creagh  regiment,  106 
Creagh,  Sir  Michael,  88,  89 
Crecy,  Count  de,  349 
"Criaghts,"  the,  137 
Croissy  family,  363 
Cromwell  confiscates   the  estates 

of  the  Irish,  60-1,  65 
Cromwell  Fort,  188 
Cross,  Mr.,  296,  297 
Crum  Castle,  108,  109 
Culmore  Fort,  91,  103,  no 
Cusack, Colonel  Nicholas,  263, 292 
Curragh,  the,  121,  141 
Cutts,  Lord,  263 
Cutts  regiment,  193 

Dalrymple,  Sir  J,  18,  179 

Danes,  the  (troops),  148,  162,  193 

Dangeau,    Marquis    de,   and    his 

diary,  15,  23,  32,  48,  76,  128, 

136,   178,  205,  206,  207,  219, 

29°.  334,  353 
Danish  Court,  the,  337 
Dartmouth,  Lord,  29 
"Dartmouth,"  the,  110 
Dastier,  Lieutenant,  105 
Dauphin,  the  (Monseigneur),  321, 

322,  330 

Dauphine,  217,318,  331 
Dauphiness,  the,  31,  32,  33,  177 
Davia,  Madame,  18.    ^Countess 


Declaration  of  James,  the,  296-7 
Delft,  349 

Dempsey,  Colonel  Lawrence,  143 
De  Rannes  Dragoons,  3 1 6 
Dicconson,  Captain,  57,  334 
Dichult,  Mr.,  349 
Dieppe,  340,  341 

Dillon,  Colonel  Arthur,  209,  211 

Dillon,  Colonel  Garrett,  263 

Dillon,  Maurice,  291 

Dillon,  Thomas,  247 

Dillon,    Viscount   (Henry),    129, 

246,  247,  263 
Dillon,  Viscount  (Theobald),  209, 


Dillon  regiment,  a,  215 
Dillon  regiment,    the,    209,    210, 

211,215,317,  359 
Dinant,  309 
Donore,  152,  162 
Doran,  Dr.,  244 
Dorington,     Colonel,     afterwards 

General,    William,    57;   at   the 

Boyne,  160;  188,  199,234,236, 

243,  291,  324,  326,  355 
Dorington  regiment,  355,  360 
Douglas,  Lieutenant-General,  167, 

186,  206 

Douglas  regiment,  193 
Dover,  Lord,  35,  52,  108,  115,  139 
Drogheda,  64,  in,  124, 143, 144, 

149,  185 

Drogheda  regiment,  193 
Dromore,  90 
Drummond,  Captain,  79 
Dublin,  42,  44,  64,  82,  88,  89,  in, 

124,  128,  144;  panic  in,  176 
Dublin  Corporation,  the,  73 
Dublin,  Parliaments  in,  273,  276, 


Dublin  regiment,  291,  324 
"  Due,"  the,  58 
Dufour,  10,  1 8,  19 
Duleek,  Lord,  243,  244 
Duleek  Pass,  155,  159,  162,  174 
Dumbarton,  Lord,  35,  75,  93 
Dumont  de  Bostaquet,  150,   152, 

158,  161,  162,   163,   197,  231, 

233>  241 

Duncannon,  177,  185 
Dundalk,  124,  141,  142 
Dundee,  Viscount,  58,  1 1 1 ;  death 

of,  at  Killiecrankie,  112 
Dungan,  Lord,  56,  131-2;  at  the 

Boyne,  158,  162,  168;  213 
Dungan,  Sir  John,  63 
Dungan,  Walter,  63,  64 
Dungan,       William       (Earl       of 

Limerick),  63 
Dunkeld,  112 

378  INDEX 

Dunkirk,  340 

Du    Quesne,    Admiral,    94,    in, 

"Eagle,"  fireship,  29 
Edinburgh  Castle,  58 
Elizabeth,  Queen,  60 
Embrun,  318 
Emperor  Leopold,  349 
England,  a  veiled  conquest  of,  13, 

373  ;  humiliating  position  of,  40 
English     recruits,     mortality     in 

Ireland,  128 

Englishry,  fresh  plantation  of,  61 
English  troops  at  Cork,  203 ;  at 

Steinkerk,  312-4;   at  Landen, 

326  ;  at  Brest,  339 
Enniskillen,  44,  109 
Enniskillen,  Lord,  247 
Enniskilleners,  the,  163 
"  Entreprenant,"  the,  57 
Escots,  Chevalier  d',  93,  120,  121, 


Espinguen,  d',  150 
Estates,  Irish,  restored,  97-8 
Estrades,  M.  d',  50 
Estrees,  Chevalier  d',  298,  299 
Estrees,  Marshal  d',  50,  57 
Etiquette,  questions  of,  33-4 
Eustace,  Maurice,  220 
Eugene,  Prince  (of  Savoy),   218, 

3i7»  3i8,  332,  333 
Evelyn's  diary,  69,  72,  76,  82,  117 
Everard,  Sir  John,  243 

Fagon,  Dr.,  341 

Famechon  regiment,  135,  201 

Famechon,  Colonel,  174,  176 

Farlow,  Captain,  143 

Farrell,  Colonel  Roger,  105 

"Faucon,"  the,  58 

Faversham,  27,  28 

Feilding,  Colonel  Robert,  209 

Feilding  regiment,  209,  210,  212, 

214,  215 

Fenwick,  Sir  John,  347 
Feuquieres,  General,  314,  317 
Feversham,  Lord  (Duras),  26 
Fisher,  Captain,  346 
Fitzgerald,  Captain  Maurice,  92 
Fitzgerald,  Colonel,  188,  190 
Fitzgerald,  Colonel  Nicholas,  228, 


Fitzjames,  Henrietta  (Lady  Walde- 

grave),  55 
Fitzjames,    Henry    (Lord   Grand 

Prior),     29,    57  ;     scene    with 

LordDungan,  131-2;  155,176, 

291 ;  see  Albemarle 
Flag  in  France,  Irish,  217 
Fleming,  Captain  Richard,  105 
Fleurus.  175,  179,  180,  187 
Fontainebleau,  354 
Foran,  177 
Ford,  Matthew,  68 
Forest  regiment,  135 
"Fort,"  the,  5 7 
Four  Mile  Pass,  142,  143 
Foyle,  Lough,  94,  no 
France,  284,  288,  292 
Frangois,  Guttier,  10 
"Francois,"  the,  57 
French  army,  reduction   of,    358 

et  seq. 
French  contingent  at  the  Boyne, 

1 5 1  et  seq, 
French  influence  in  England,  1 1 ; 

opinion  of  England,  1 3 
French  troops  return  to  France,  201 
French  War  Department,  archives 

at,  171-5,  207,  216,  220 
"  Furieux,"  the,  57 
Furstenberg  regiment,  218 
Fumeron,  M.,  226,  227,  241,  247 

Cabaret,  Admiral,  49,  56,  83,  136, 

139,  140,  141 

Gace",  Count  de,  93,  120,  140, 141 
Gal  way,  Lord,  213,243 
Gal  way  regiment,  the,  209 
Galmoye, Lord,  199,  209,  234,238, 

263,  267,  292,  297,  307,  360 
Galway,  174,  178,  183,  198,  233, 

245,  246,  247 

Garter,  Order,  conferred  by  James 
on  Lauzun,  49;  on  Tyrconnell, 

Gaydon,John,  292 
Gembloux,  309,  321 
Gendarmes,  regiment,  68,  69 
Germany,  Emperor  of,  n,  349 
Gibraltar,  298 

Gilbert's  Jacobite  Narrative,  80-1 

Ginkel,   General,  204,    227,   229, 

231*  232,  234,  235,  236,  237, 

246,  248,  249,  256,  258,  262, 



263,  264,  265,  266,  271,  283, 

Girardin,  Marquis  de,  48,  57,  136, 

142,  146,  178 
Giuduci,  Father,  10 
Golding,  Captain,  340 
Gordon,  Duke  of,  58 
Gosworth,  Lord,  176,  249,  267 
Grace,  Captain  Richard.  105 
Grace,  Colonel  Richard,  186,  231 
Grafton,  Duke  of,  200,  204 
Gramont,  Count  de,  68 
Gramont,  Countess  de,  (Elizabeth 

Hamilton),  37,  362 
Gramont  memoirs,  66,  67 
Gravesend,  n 
Greder  regiment,  217 
Grenoble,  218,  219,  318,  331 
Griffin,  Lord,  28 
Guard,  the  English,  213 
Guards,  the  Irish,  121,  125,  161  ; 

its  losses  at  the  Boyne,  163  ;  at 

Aughrim,  236  ;  at  Landen,  327- 

8 ;  abolished,  355 
Guildford,  17 
Guillestre,  317,  318 

Racket,  Mr.,  177 

Hague,  the,  349 

Hales,  Sir  Edward,  26 

Ham  House,  27,  28 

Hamburg,  267 

Hamilton,  Anthony,   68,   69,   71, 

77;   commands    cavalry,    109; 

conduct    at    Newtown    Butler, 

no,  158,  199,  362 
Hamilton,  Duke  of,  58 
Hamilton,  Elizabeth,  65,  68 
Hamilton,  Sir  George  (first),  67,68 
Hamilton,   Sir   George   (second), 

66,  67-9 
Hamilton,  John,  47,  57,  68,  158, 

188,  234,  243 
Hamilton,    Lady,    66,    67-9 ;    see 

Frances  Jennings  and  Duchess 

of  Tyrconnell 
Hamilton,  James,  68 
Hamilton,    Richard,    48,   68,   69, 

71,  75;  charge  against,  76;  84, 

85>  9°,  9i.  92>  l°3>  I04,  i°5. 
no;  at  the  Boyne,  155,  157-8, 
!59;  297»  362,  363 
Hamilton,  Thomas,  68 

Harcourt,  Marquis  d',  315,  316, 

323.  S2;.  344 

Havre,  de  Grace,  297 

Heidelberg,  323,  330 

Henrietta  Maria,  Queen,  33,  34 

Henry  VIII,  60 

Herbert,  Admiral,  93,  94 

Herbert,  Sir  William,  176,  296 

Hocquincourt,  Marquis  d',  93, 
120,  161 

Hoguette,  Marquis  de  la,  136, 
146,  158  ;  his  first  letter  on  the 
Boyne,  1 7 1 ;  his  conduct,  172-3; 
his  full  report,  174-5;  J76,  1775 
sent  to  Savoy,  201,  331,  332  ; 
his  death,  334 

Holmes,  Major,  346,  347 

"  Home  Rule,"  an  early  definition 
of,  80-1,  87,  96-7 

Hore,  Gilbert,  79 

Hore,  Captain  W.,  257 

Horse  Guards  (James's),  291,  316 

House  of  Commons,  the,  128 

House  of  Lords,  Irish,  276-7 

Howard,  Lord  Thomas  (of  Work- 
sop),  57,  117 

Huguenots  at  Marsaglia,  334,  335 ; 
in  Ireland  passim 

Hungary,  217 

Hungate,  Captain,  346 

Huxelles,  Marquis  d',  316 

Huy,  323,  326,  327 

Inchiquin,  Lord,  84 
Independent      Companies,      the, 


Ireland,  James's  chances  in,  41  ; 
"  money  scarce  in,"  54;  at  time 
of  James's  accession,  62  ;  Pro- 
testants v.  Catholics  in,  70-1, 
72,  73.  74,  80-1,  96-7,  98-9, 
99-103 ;  Stuart  cause  dead  in, 
180-2;  a  poor  country,  201; 
changed  position  in,  202 

Irish  army,  defects  in,  106-7  \ 
after  Aughrim,  247 

Irish  Brigade,  achievements  of  the, 
335-6 ;  its  status  in  France, 
336;  reduction  of,  358-60; 
speak  English,  361 ;  sufferings 
of,  362-8 

Irish  Catholics  lose  estates,  61 

Irish  Cavalry  in  the  Ardennes,  316 



Irish  Confederation,  the,  60 
Irish,    unfortunate    view    of    the 

English  of  the,  221-2 
Irish   Parliament,  the,   93,   95-6, 

97,  98 
Irish      and      French,      relations 

between,  83 

Irish  sent  to  Hungary,  267 
Irish  in  French  navy,  215 
Irish  regiments  sent  to  England, 

.75-6  . 

Irish  regiments  in  France,  291 
Irish  officers  in  German  regiments, 


Irish  at  the  Marsaglia,  333-5 
Irish  troops,  condition  of  the,  216  ; 

demand  red  coats,  ibid. 
Irish  receive  "  la  petite  solde?  290 
Iveagh,  Lord,  149,  185,  263,  267 
Iveagh,  Lady,  247 

Jacobite  plot,  a,  343-5 

Jamaica,  84 

James  I,  62 

James  II,  accession  of,  1 1 ;  his 
position,  12,  13;  failure  of,  14; 
entrusts  his  papers  to  Terriesi, 
1 6  ;  prepares  for  flight,  17,  1 8 ; 
his  flight,  24-30;  visits  Ver- 
sailles, 32  ;  position  of,  39-41  ; 
not  keen  on  Irish  adventure, 
41-6  :  prepares  to  leave  for  Ire- 
land, 49-51  ;  sails  for  Ireland, 
56;  his  affection  for  Scotland, 
58  ;  his  views,  59  ;  accession  to 
throne,  61;  his  religion,  61-2; 
serves  under  Turenne,  64 ;  living 
in  Brussels.  69 ;  travels  about, 
70 ;  sends  Talbot  to  Ireland,  7 1 ; 
his  verdict  on  Tyrconnel's  rule, 
72 ;  his  intentions  in  Ireland, 
8 1,  86;  his  arrival  in  Ireland, 
82-8  ;  judged  by  d'Avaux,  83  ; 
makes  Tyrconnell  a  duke,  85 ; 
forms  Council,  89 ;  marches  to 
Ulster,  90 ;  opens  Irish  Parlia- 
ment, 93,  95,  96 ;  excuses 
English  fleet,  94  :  dissents  from 
Irish  policy,  98  ;  his  views  of 
Ireland,  99 ;  his  conversations 
with  d'Avaux,  101-2;  cancels 
Roze's  order,  107-8;  his  part 
in  the  Melfort  controversy, 

112-7;  his  views  of  Ireland, 
118;  marches  against  Schom- 
berg,  125;  offers  battle,  126; 
defends  his  inaction,  127;  re- 
quests French  troops,  128;  his 
lenity,  128-9;  his  measures  to 
benefit  soldiers,  1 30 ;  his  re- 
quests of  France,  134;  lets 
Lord  Dover  depart,  139;  re- 
quests Gabaretto  attackWilliam's 
fleet,  140  ;  moves  to  Dundalk, 
142  ;  his  talk  with  Farlow,  143  ; 
his  weak  decision,  143-4;  con- 
fronted with  possibility  of  losing 
Dublin,  decides  to  fight,  144-5  ; 
desire  to  leave  Ireland,  145-6; 
a  Unionist,  147  ;  at  the  Boyne, 
151-70;  flight  of,  175;  leaves 
Ireland,  176-80;  views  of  his 
conduct,  180-2  ;  his  account  of 
Aughrim,  239-41  ;  on  the  oath 
taken  by  garrison  at  Limerick, 
260 ;  on  the  Treaty  of  Limerick, 
281-2  ;  letter  to  Irish  troops, 
289;  inspects  them,  290;  his 
Irish  army,  292  ;  design  to  re- 
cover England  in  1692, 294-303; 
his  responsibility  for  La  Hogue, 
299,  et  seq. ;  describes  battle, 
303-5  ;  on  Melfort,  338  ;  cor- 
responds with  English  friends, 
338-9 ;  informs  Louis  of  Brest 
expedition,  339;  issues  letters 
of  marque,  340 ;  alarmed  at 
approach  of  peace,  342 ;  sends 
envoys  to  England,  343;  collects 
army  at  Calais,  344;  his  last 
attempt,  346-8;  his  consistency, 
352;  change  in  his  style  and 
state,  354-5 ;  his  comment  on 
William's  banishments,  364-5  ; 
his  religious  fervour,  366 
James,  Prince  of  Wales  (after- 
wards James  III  or  the  Old 
Pretender),  10,  13,  16,  18,  23, 

25,  38,  348,  351.  352,  356 

Jamestown,  127 

Jeannin,  M.,  49 

Jennings,  Frances,  65,  66  See 
Hamilton,  Lady,  and  Tyrcon- 
nell, Duchess 

Jermyn,  Lord,  66 

Joyeuse,  Marshal,  344 


Kaunitz,  Count,  349 

Kavanagh,  Colonel  Charles,  205, 


Kavanagh,  Morgan,  205,  220 
Kavanaghs  (three),  288 
Kavanagh  regiment,  the,  121,  125, 

185,  204 

Keating,  Lord  Chief  Justice,  97 
Kenmare,  Lord,  243,  244,  267, 277 
Kenmare  regiment,  243,  247 
Kilconnell,  233.    See  Aughrim 
Kilkenny,  204 
Killaloe,  189,  226 
Killarney,  206 

Killiecrankie,  112  ;  Irish  at,  ibid. 
Kilmallock,  Lord,  188,  190,  191, 

213,  267,  317,  334,  335 
Kingsale,  56,  83,  177,  178,  183, 

203,  205 

King's  regiment  (cavalry),  292,  316 
Kingsland,  Viscount,  129 
Kingsland,  Lady,  200 
Kirke,  General,  108,  no,  190 
Knightly,  Captain,  346 

L'Abadie,  Mr.  de,  17,  26 

L'Abadie,  Mrs.  de,  10,  17 

Lacy,  James  de,  334 

Lagos  Bay,  337 

La  Hogue,  Cape,  273,  297  ;  battle 

of,  299-305 

Lally,  Count,  211,  361,  372 
Lamarche  regiment,  135 
Lambay,  227 
Lambecq,  308 
Landen,  324-7 
Landrecies,  15 

Lanier,  Sir  John,  76,  312,  314 
La  Roche,  316 
Larray,  Marquis  de,  218,  219,  318, 


La  Rue,  Colonel  Francis,  291,  307 
La  Rue,  346 
La  Tour,  Colonel,  225,  242,  257, 


La  Trappe,  366 
Lauzun  (Count,  afterwards  Duke), 

10, 15, 16, 17, 18,  19,20,  21,30, 

48,  49.  5T>  IX5>  I28;  his  ap- 
pointment, 133-4;  leaves  for  Ire- 
land, 139;  lands  at  Cork,  ibid.\ 
reaches  Dublin,  141 ;  forgotten 
his  knowledge  of  war,  144;  at  the 

Boyne,  151,  152,  158,  163-6; 
at  Galway,  1 83-4 ;  reception  in 
France,  200-1 

"Lauzun,"  the,  177 

Lavalin,  Captain,  no 

Lee,  Sir  Andrew  (Marquis),  217, 
286,  293,  335,  341 

Lee  regiment,  359 

Leixlip,  176 

Le  Moulineau,  362 

Leopold,  the  Emperor,  55 

Lery.     See  Girardin 

Ley  burn,  10,  19 

"  Light  to  the  Blind,  A,"  80,  87, 

Lille,  288 

Limerick  regiment,  291,  319,  331 

Limerick  Stone,  369 

Limerick,  77,  145;  Irish  army 
retreats  to,  183;  Lauzun's 
opinion  of,  1 84 ;  defended  by 
Boisseleau,  187  et  seq. ;  des- 
cription of,  187  ;  garrison  in, 
188;  220,  225,  226,  238;  second 
siege  of,  245-62 ;  Convention 
of,  263-80 

Limerick  Treaty,  its  text,  268-71 ; 
breaches  of,  271-8 

List  of  James's  companions  to 
Ireland,  57-8 

Lloyd,  Mr.,  299,  338 

Londonderry,  44,  78,  86,  89; 
William  proclaimed  at,  90;  siege 
of,  91-4;  103-5,  107,  iio-i 

Londonderry  Corporation,  the,  73 

Lorges,  Marshal,  315,  316,  319, 
320,  341 

Lorraine,  Duke  of,  218,  363 

Loughreagh,  237,  238,  246 

Louth,  Lord,  263 

Louvain,  321,  323 

Louis  XIV,  n,  12,  14,  21,  22; 
his  hospitality  to  the  Stuarts, 
22-3  ;  receives  Queen  Mary  23- 
4 ;  receives  King  James,  24-5  ; 
his  opinon  of  Queen  Mary,  34 ; 
his  allowance  to  the  Stuarts,  35 ; 
farewell  to  James  on  leaving  for 
Ireland,  49-51 ;  sends  aid  to 
Ireland,  54  ;  his  correspondence 
with  D'Avaux,  100-3;  anxious  at 
disputes  in  Ireland,  112-3; 
prepared  to  send  troops  to 



Ireland,  1 1 9 ;  his  comparison  of 
his  troops,  135  ;  the  most  loyal 
champion  of  the  Stuarts,  140; 
receives  and  thanks  Colonel 
Zurlauben,  175;  receives  James 
on  return  from  Ireland,  179-80  ; 
his  arrangement  for  Irish  troops, 
221 ;  receives  Mountcashell, 
215  ;  sends  help  to  Ireland,  223; 
sends  St.  Ruth,  225 ;  sends 
large  supplies,  260;  disappoint- 
ment of,  261  ;  lends  officers  of 
the  Maison  du  Roi,  291 ;  sanc- 
tions English  scheme,  295  ;  fatal 
order  to  Tourville,  299-300; 
compliments  Tourville,  305 ; 
his  undiminished  hospitality  to 
the  Stuarts,  306;  takes  the  field, 
308;  reviews  his  army,  309; 
Captures  Namur,  310;  pro- 
vides Irish  troops  with  shoes, 
319;  takes  the  field  in  person, 
320;  changes  his  plans,  321; 
desire  to  exalt  the  Royal  House, 
322-3  ;  pleased  with  Irish,  334; 
desire  for  peace,  337  ;  orders 
bombardment  of  Brussels,  341; 
secures  the  mediation  of  King 
of  Sweden,  348 ;  refuses  to 
banish  Stuarts  from  St.  Ger- 
mains,  351,  352-3;  reduces 
his  army,  358-9;  his  dealings 
with  the  Stuarts,  368 
Louise  Mary,  Princess,  306 
Louvois,  Marquis  de,  12,  14,  15, 
36,  41,  45,  53,  83,  85,  90,  91, 
105,  115,  118,  119,  133,  180, 
183,  214,  224;  death  of,  261, 


Lowestoft  (battle),  66 
Lundy,  Colonel,  74 
Luttrell,    Henry,    199,    229,   234, 

238,  242,   245,    247;   arrested, 

248 ;    saved    by    Ginkel,    249 ; 

receives  English  pension,  ibid. ; 

assassinated,  ibid. ;  266 
Luttrell's  dragoons  (Henry),  176, 

188,  234 
Luttrell,    Simon,    124,    iS8,   199, 

291,  324 
Luxemburg,   Marshal,    175,    180, 

308,  309  ;  a  spy  of,  310-1  ;  wins 

battle  of  Steinkerk,  311-5;  321, 

323;   wins   battle   of  Landen, 
324-7>  33°;  death  of,  342 

Macarty  Mor  regiment,  204 
Macaulay,  attack  on  Talbot,  62, 
74 ;  attack  on  Hamilton,  76 ; 
attack  on  D'Avaux,  99-103; 
his  misquotation,  100  ;  his  des- 
cription of  the  Boyne,  153-4; 
errors  in  it,  155,  156-7  ;  blindly 
follows  Story,  158;  partial  quo- 
tation of,  171-3;  misquotes 
evidence  on  Limerick,  196-7; 
purely  imaginary  description  of, 
198  ;  mistake  as  to  age  of  Bar- 
bezieux,  319 

McCarthy,  Captain,  10,  16,  19 
McCarthy,   General,   84,   85,  86, 

92.     See  Mountcashell 
McCarthys,  the,  in  France,  208 
McCarthy,  Owen,  79 
McCarthy  Mor,  Colonel,  134 
Macdonald,  Captain  Ronald,  28, 


Macdonnell,  28.     See  Macdonald 
MacElligott,  Colonel,  204,  205 
MacElligott,    Colonel,    killed    at 

Athlone,  231 

MacElligott  regiment,  204 
Macguire,  Colonel  C.,  243 
Mackay,  General,  112,  231,  271, 

3I2>  3*4 

Maclean,  Sir  John,  1 1 1 

Macmahon,  Colonel  A.,  230 

Macmahon  regiment,  the,  188, 

Macnamara,  Captain  Hugh,  124 

Macpherson,  Sir  James,  72,  124, 
164,  340 

Madden,  Colonel  E.,  244 

Madrid,  63,  64 

Maestricht,  n,  324 

Mahan,  Cornelius,  79 

Mahony,  Colonel,  243 

Maine,  regiment,  331 

Maintenon,  Madame  de,  36  ;  her 
friendship  with  Queen  Mary, 
37J  133.  3°6>  3°8;  wrongly 
blamed  for  Louis's  change  of 
plans,  322;  344,  345,  348 

Maison  du  Roi,  the,  35,  36,  310, 
311,  320 

Marigny,  Captain,  109,  no 



Marche,  316 

Marine  regiment,  291 

Marlborough,  his  campaign  in 
Ireland,  202-5;  296,  33^,  339; 
sends  intelligence  of  Brest  ex- 
pedition, 339-40 ;  drops  corre- 
spondence, 347 

Marly,  47,  139,  206,  357 

Marsaglia,  the  stream,  333;  battle 

of,  333-5 

Marshals,  French,  371 

Martinien,  M.,  171 

Mary  Beatrice  d'Este  of  Modena 
(Queen),  her  escape  from  Eng- 
land, 9-11,  16-22  ;  arrives  at 
St.  Germains,  23-4;  her  visit 
to  the  Dauphiness,  31-3;  de- 
cides question  of  etiquette, 
33-4 ;  described,  34-5 ;  her 
friendship  with  Madame  de 
Maintenon,  37  ;  her  ambition, 
40 ;  believed  to  be  enceinte, 
49  j  grief  at  James's  departure, 
52 ;  her  letters  to  James  in 
Ireland,  114,  145,  175;  glad  at 
Lauzun's  appointment,  128; 
induces  French  Minister  to 
send  a  fleet,  177  ;  her  regret  at 
King's  absence,  180;  gives  birth 
to  a  daughter,  306 ;  and  Talbot, 
345  ;  and  her  dowry,  352-4 

Mary  (Princess  and  Queen),  187, 
296,  340 

Masse,  106 

Maumont,  Marechal  de  Camp,  48, 

53>  54,  57,  92 

Maxwell,  General  Thomas,  165, 
183,  188,  199,  200,  230,  231, 

292,  3i7,  334 
Maxwell's    Dragoons,     153,    176, 

188,  193 

Mayo,  Captain,  138 
Meath,  Bishop  of,  97 
Meath  regiment,  193 
Mediterranean,  the,  298 
Medway,  battle  in  the,  207 
Melfort,    Earl,    afterwards    Duke 

of,  51,  57;  his  character,  86; 

James's   Chief  Councillor,    89, 

98;      and     d'Avaux,     112-7; 

leaves    for    France,     117;    his 

character,  117-8;   297,  338 
Melfort  (second),  Duke,  132 

Melfort,      Countess,      afterwards 
Duchess  of,  51,  52,  57,  117,  118 
Merode,  Colonel,  174,  176,  201 
Merode-Westerloo,  Count,  312-3 
Merode  regiment,  135 
Metz,  293 
Middleton,  Earl  of,  27,  28,  337, 

338,  343>  355 
Milan,  348 
Military    Articles     of    Limerick 


Militia  in  Ireland,  74 
Moerdyck,  321 
Money,  base,  98 
Mons,  307,  308 
Monseigneur  (the  Dauphin),    23, 

24,  S2,  34 
Monsieur   (Due  d'  Orleans),   23, 

24,  32,  34 

Mont  Cenis,  219 


Montecuculli,  Marquis,  10 

Montpensier,  Mdlle  de  (la  Grande 
Mademoiselle),  15,  30,  49 

Moore,  Colonel  Charles,  243 

Morgan,  Lieutenant-Colonel,  243 

Morris,  Mr.  O'Connor,  285 

Moselle,  316 

Mountcashell,  Viscount,  69,  77, 
93, 1 08;  taken  prisoner,  109-10; 
his  escape,  125;  his  early  career 
in  France,  207;  escapes,  208; 
to  command  brigade,  ibid. ; 
recruits  his  regiment,  209  ;  goes 
to  France,  210;  received  by 
Louis,  215;  marches  to  Savoy, 
217;  wounded  there,  219;  sent 
to  Roussillon,  220;  his  services, 
221-2,  307;  death  of,  341 

Mountcashell  Brigade,  the,  see 
Chapter  vm ;  increased,  286, 

Mountcashell  regiment,  the,  210, 

Mountgarret,  Viscount,  104,  209 

Mountjoy,  Lord,  44,  45,  74,  77, 

78,  79,  129,  297,  312,  314 
Mouskry,  207 
Mousquetaires,  the,  311 
Moustiers,  219 
Mullingar,  78 
Murray,  Sir,  57,  58,  84 


Muskerry,  Lord,  207 
Muskerry  regiment,  a,  2 1 5 

Nagle,  Sir  R.,  176,  249,  267,  284 
Namur,  siege  of,  309-10;  retaken 

by  William,  342 
Nancy,  363 
Nantes,  214,  215,  217;  Edict  of, 

ii,  14,45-6 
Nassau,  Count,  265 
Neerwinden,  324,325.  See  Landen 
Nenagh,  137 
"  Neptune,"  the,  58 
Nesmond,  Chevalier  de,  225,  226 
Netherlands,  the,  60 
Netterville,  Alison,  63 
Netterville,  Viscount,  103 
Newcomen,  Lady,  137 
Newcomen,  Sir  Thomas,  137 
Newtown  Butler,  109,  no 
Newry,  136 

Nimeguen,  Treaty  of,  52,  69 
Noailles,  Marshal  (first),  217,  218, 

220,  221,  307,  319,  320 

Noailles  (biographer  of  Madame 

de  Maintenon),  322 
Non-Compounders,  the,  338 
No  Popery  Bill,  279 
Northumberland,  Duke  of,  5  2 
Notre  Dame,  49,  327 
Nottingham,  75 
Nugent,   Brigadier    Patrick,    137, 


Nugent,  Colonel  A.,  291,  326 
Nuncio,  Papal,  363 

Oaths,  unfair,  278-9 

O'Brien,  Charles  (afterwards  Vis- 
count Clare),  10,  292,  317,334, 
335,  346 

O'Brien,  Charlotte  (afterwards 
Lady  Clare),  10 

O'Brien,  Daniel  (afterwards  Lord 
Clare),  209,  212 

O'Brien,  Sir  Donogh,  68 

O'Brien,  Edward,  292 

O'Brien  regiment,  the  (Clare), 
209,  210,  212,  215,  217 

O'Callaghan's  list,  291 

O'Connel,  Colonel,  244 

O'Connor,  General  G.,  quoted, 
279-81,  285-6 

O'Donnell,  Baldearg,  224,  246 

O'Gara,  Colonel,  230 
Oldbridge,    143,    144,    149,    150 

151,  J57,  i58,  l62»  l66,  *74 
O'Mor,  Anne,  327 

O'Mor,  Rory,  327 

O'Neil,   Sir   Neil,    58,   150,    151, 

152,  164,  167,  168,  209 
O'Neil,  Colonel  Gordon,  188,  236, 

244,  291 

O'Neil,  Colonel  Felix,  243 
O'Neil,    Brigadier   H.   Macjohn, 


O'Neils,  the  Two,  60 
Orange  Celebration  of  the  Boyne, 

unjustified  as  history,  148 
Order  of  Battle,  James's,  125 
O'Regan,  Sir  Thady,  138 
Orleans,  Due  d'  (Monsieur),  323 
Ormonde,  Duke  of  (first),  66,  68 
Ormonde,  Duke  of  (second),   97, 


Ostend,  205,  287 
O'Toole,  Sir  Charles,  161 
Ourthe,  316 

Palatinate,  plundering  of  39,  55 

Pare,  321,  324 

Paris,  Archbishop  of,  49 

Parker's  regiment,  159,  162,  234 

Parry,  Garret,  79 

Passage,  177 

Pay,  proposed  for   Irish  soldiers, 

78  ;  to  Irish  troops  in  France, 


Pembroke,  Earl  of,  349 
Penniburn  Mill,  92 
Perkins,  Sir  William,  346 
Perth,  Earl  of  (afterwards  Duke), 


Petersfield,  16 
Pignerol,  331,  332 
Piper,  Colonel,  263 
Plowden,  Mr.,  199,  249,  267,  284 
Plunkett,     Captain     Christopher, 


Plunkett,  Edward,  292 
Plunkett,  Captain  John,  104 
Plunkett's  Jacobite  Narrative,  1 04, 

130,   166,  229,  233,  246,    249, 

256.     See  Gilbert 
Po,  the,  218 
Pointis,  Marquis  de,  43,  44,  45,  46, 

48,  53,  54,  57,  79,  i°5.  lo6 



Poissy,  52 

Poland  and  Saxony,  King  of,  288 

Polish  Throne,  348 

Pope,  the,  55,  278 

"  Popish  Champion,"  the,  80 

Porter,  Sir  Charles,  264,  271 

Porter,  Sir  George,  55,  115,  136 

Portland,  Earl  of,  150,  190,  346, 

35°-4,  355.  356 
Portland's  regiment,  235 
Portsmouth,  16,  17 
Portsmouth,  Duchess  of,  22,  50 
Portugal,  66 
Powell,  Mr.,  343 
Prendergast,  Captain,  346 
Prendergast,  Colonel  Edmund,  233 
Preston,  Lord  (General),  64 
Preston,  Lord,  55,  296 
Preston,  Robert,  291 
Protestant  Succession,  the,  40 
Protestants,  retained  by  James,  82 
Powis,  Marquis,  and  subsequently 

Duke  of,  10,  1 6,  17,  31,  51,  57, 

89,  176 
Powis,  Marchioness  and  Duchess 

of,  10,16,17.  23»  3i>  32>  51 
Prussia,  334 
Pyrenees,  341 
Purcell,  Captain,  104 
Purcell,    Colonel    Nicholas,    199, 

229,  242,  245,  263,  266 
Purcell's  Dragoons  (unmounted), 

Purcell's     Dragoons     (mounted), 

176,  234 

Purcell,  Major,  243,  258 
Pusignan,  General,  48,  57,  90,  92 

Queen's  regiment  (Cavalry),  292, 

Queen's     regiment      (Dragoons), 

292.  3*7,.  331 
Queen's  regiment  (foot),  291,  331 

Rabutin,  Count,  133 
Ramsay,  Brigadier,  103 
Ramullin,  150,  158,  162 
Raumont  a  Pic,  316 
Red  coats  for  Irish  troops,,  216 
Red  Sand  buoy,  29 
Regiments,  list  of  Irish,  121-3 
Regiments  for  France,  Irish,  208-9 
Reilly,  Colonel  Luke,  247 
2  B 

Reilly,  Philip,  247 

Reynolds,  Colonel,  307 

Reynolds,  Commissary,  64 

Rheims,  Archbishop  of  46-7,  366 

Rhue,  47 

Richard  II,  88 

Richards,  Colonel,  diary  of,  250-6 

Rice,  Sir  Stephen,  44,  57 

Rienan,  George,  291 

Richmond,  Duke  of,  50,  344 

Rivers,  Sir  Richard,  73 

Riverston,  Lord,  199 

Riva,  Francesco,  10,  17;  narra- 
tive of,  18-20 

Roche  Bernard,  5 1 

Rochefort,  220 

Rochester,  28 

Rochefoucauld,  Due  de,  356 

Rome,  55 

Roscrea,  68 

Rosmadek,  M.  de,  56 

Rosse,  Viscount,  129 

Rossnaree,  149,  151,  168,  174 

Roth,  Captain  (afterwards  Colonel) 
Michael,  41,  42,  43,  44,  210, 

Rouen,  338 

Roussillon,  220,  221,  307 

Roussillon  regiment,  the,  69 

Roy,  221 

"  Royal  Charter,"  the,  207 

Royal  regiment  (Dragoons),  292, 
317,  331 

"  Royal  Sun,  The,"  304 

Roze,  General,  48,  49,  53,  57,  90, 
91,  105,  1 06;  his  cruel  plan  to 
reduce  Derry,  107  ;  censured  by 
James,  107-8,  no,  126,  127, 
128,  140 

Rubantel,  Lieutenant  -  General, 
324,  325,  326 

Rumilly,  219 

Russell,  Admiral,  295,  299,  300, 

Ruvigny  (Marquis),  233,  237,  241, 

Ryswyck,  349 ;  peace  of,  345 

"Sage,"  the,  57 

St.  Brigette,  Fort,  331 

St.  Clement,  318 

St.  Cyr,  322,  348 

St.  Didier,  M.  de,  57,  117 



St.  Fremont,  General,  316 

St.  Germains  (Chateau  of),  21,  22, 

23.  24,  33.  35.  36,  38,  44,  *79; 
Irish  delegation  to,  199;  244, 
245,  291 ;  endeavour  to  eject 
Stuarts  from,  351-4 

St.  John's  Gate  (Limerick),  192, 193 

St.  Malo,  285,  340 ;  Irish  pri- 
vateers of,  293 

"Saint  Michel,"  the,  57,  58 

Saint  Pater,  General,  93,  120 

St.  Patrick's  Cathedral,  94 

St.  Ruth,  General,  201,  219,  220; 
correct  name  of,  225;  sent  to 
Ireland,  ibid. ;  brings  supplies, 
226;  moves  to  Athlone,  228  ;  de- 
pendent on  his  lieutenants,  229; 
angry  at  loss  of  Athlone,  232  ; 
decides  to  fight,  233  ;  at  Augh- 
rim,  233-43;  killed,  241,  242 

Saint  Simon,  Due  de,  and  his 
diary,  15,  300,  303,  322 

Saint  Vians,  Lieut.,  35,  36 

Saint  Victor,  M.,  18,  19,  20,  26 

Sales,  Marquis  de,  219 

Salisbury,  Earl  of,  1 7 

Salt  in  Ireland,  no,  138 

Sandys,  Capt.,  231 

Sarsfield,  Patrick  (Earl  of  Lucan), 
58,  116,  120,  127,  142,  144, 
165,  176;  James's  opinion  of, 
146,  147;  his  opinion  of  James, 
182;  at  Limerick  183;  his 
exploit  at  Ballineedy,  189-90; 
199.  213,  234,  238,  248,  259, 
263,  266,  284,  285,  286,  291, 
292,  297,  307 ;  praised  by 
Luxemburg,  315;  320;  at  Lan- 
den,  324-7  ;  death  of,  327-9 

Sarsfield's  regiment,  153,  176, 
234,  242 

Saverne,  69 

Savoy,  217,  218,  219,  307,  331 

Savoy,  Duke  of,  218,  317,  331, 
332»  333  5  makes  peace,  348 

Scattery,  283,  285 

Schomberg,  Marshal,  124,  125, 
126;  his  letter  of  explanation 
to  William,  126-7;  goes  into 
winter  quarters,  127-8;  130; 
opens  campaign,  138;  141,  142; 
at  the  Boyne,  149,  150,  152, 
155,  160,  161,  169,  170 

Schomberg,  Duke  (Charles),  317, 

3i8,  335 
Schomberg,  Count  M.,  150,  158, 

164,  166 
Scot,  John,  79 

Scotland,  Jacobite  party  in,  58-9 
Scott,  Sir  E.,  93,  205,  317,  318, 

3i95  33',  335 
Scravenmore,  General,  258,   271, 


Sebastian,  248 
Sedley,  Miss,  37 
Seignelay,  133,  177 
Seilern,  Baron,  349 
Sevigne,  Madame  de,  22  ;  quoted, 

25-6»  3°,  34,35,41,  45>5T>  S2, 

69,  223 
Shannon,  145,  260;  English  fleet 

in  the,  250 
Sheerness,  29 
Sheldon,  Dominic  (General),  10, 

i55»   l83,  i99,  234,   238,  239, 

242,  257,  263,  292,  297,  307, 

320,  360 

Sheldon,  Mr.  Ralph,  27 
Sion  House,  28 
Sisteron,  318 
Six  Mile  Bridge,  248 
Skelton,  George,  12,  13,  14,  55 
Slane  Bridge,  149 
Slane,  Lord,  243,  244 
Sligo,  1 1 6,  127,  265 
Smyrna  fleet,  337 
Sole  Bay,  66 

"  Soleil  d'Afrique,"  the,  56 
Solmes,  Count,  27,  160,  312 
Somerset,  Lady  Elisabeth,  10 
Spain,  60 

Spain,  Queen  of,  her  death,  49 
Spires,  316,  317 
Spithead,  297 

Sourches,  Marquis,  139,  334 
Staffarde,  219 

Stafford,  Dean  Alexius,  243 
Stapleton,  Colonel,  258 
Stapylton,  Colonel,  124 
Steinkerk,  battle  of,  273,  310-15 
Stone  Fort,  the,  190 
Story,  Rev.  G.  W.,  76,  158,  160; 

on  Limerick,  196-7 
Strafford,  62 
Strickland,  Lady,  10 
Stuart  regiment,  193 



Stuarts,  penury  of  the,  35 
Sullivan  regiment,  204 
Sunderland,  Earl  of,  11,12, 13,  267 
Susa,  219 

Stratmann,  Count,  349 
Sutherland,  General,  28,  57,  291 
Sutherland's  regiment,  159,  163 
Swale,  the,  29 

Taaffe,  Major  John,  92 

Taaffe,  Count,  363,  364 

Talbot,  Buno,  63 

Talbot,  Capt.,  79 

Talbot,  Lady  Charlotte,  66,  267 

Talbot,  Garret,  63 

Talbot,  Gilbert,  63 

Talbot,  Griffith,  63 

Talbot,  James,  63 

Talbot,  John,  63 

Talbot,  Sir  John,  28 

Talbot,  Colonel  James,  243 

Talbot,  Mary  (Lady  Dungan),  63 

Talbot,  Peter,  63,  64,  67 

Talbot,  Colonel  Richard  (Bastille), 
63,  188,  193,  195,  291,  307, 
31?,  3i9>  335.  34i;  sent  to 
the  Bastille,  345 

Talbot,  Sir  Robert,  63 

Talbot,  Thomas,  63 

Talbot,  Capt.  William  (Wexford.), 

Talbot,  Sir  William,  62,  68,   77, 

85,  116,  267 
Talbot,     Lieut. -Colonel    William 

(Templeoge),  103 
Talbots  of  Cartown,  the,  62 
Talmash,  General  (also  Talmach 

and  Tollemache),  230,  271,  279, 

3J2,  339,  340 
Tangy,  Chevalier  de,  105 
" Tapissier de  Notre  Dame,"  le,  32 7 
Tarentaise,  219 
"  Tempest,"  the,  1 1 7 
Tenneville,  316 
Tesse,    Chevalier   de,   225,    234, 

241,  297 

Terriesi,  Marquis,  16 
Tettau,  General,  190 
Thionville,  317 
Thomond  Bridge,  256,  258 
Thomond,  Marshal,  371 
Thurles,  Lord,  67 
Tiffin,  Colonel,  263 

Titus  Gates,  67,  275 

Torbay,  16,  140 

Torcy,  Marquis  de,  353 

Tournaisis  regiment,  135 

Tourolle,  24 

Tourville,  187,  298,  299,  300,  302, 
303 ;  praised  for  his  valour, 
305-6;  captures  Smyrna  fleet, 


Tower,  the,  12,  13,  62,  205 

Trahern,  Major,  138 

Trevanion,  Captain,  28,  29 

Trinder,  Mr.,  57 

Trimlestown,  Lord,  263,  267,  284, 
291,  316 

Trinity  College,  Dublin,  79 

Tubize,  310,  351 

Turenne,  u,  16,  64,  68,  173 

Turini,  M.,  10 

Turini,  Madame,  10 

Turnham  Green,  346,  347 

Tyrconnell,  Duchess,  129,  200 

Tyrconnell  regiment,  the,  159, 
162,  233 

Tyrconnell,  Duke  of  (Richard 
Talbot),  42,  43,  44,  45,  54; 
birth  and  youth  of,  63-4 ;  joins 
James  in  Belgium,  64-5 ;  known 
as  Goliath,  64 ;  early  adventures 
of,  65-6 ;  in  James's  house- 
hold, 65-6 ;  sent  to  Tower,  66  ; 
to  Portugal,  ibid. ;  marries  Miss 
Boynton,  ibid.  ;  imprisoned  in 
Dublin,  67  ;  escapes  and  mar- 
ries F.  Jennings,  ibid. ;  as 
James's  companion,  70;  proposes 
restoration  of  Irish  estates,  ibid. ; 
sent  to  Ireland,  71;  appointed 
Lord-Deputy  of  Ireland,  ibid. ; 
his  age  against  him,  72 ;  his 
first  measures,  73  ;  deals  with 
the  army,  74-5 ;  raises  Irish 
army,  77  ;  removes  Protestant 
troops,  78;  calls  in  arms,  79; 
rouses  Irish  confidence,  80; 
receives  King  James,  84  ;  makes 
his  report,  84-5  ;  created  a 
Duke,  85  ;  proposes  to  reduce 
the  army,  86 ;  long  illness  of, 
89;  returns  to  Dublin,  113; 
demands  Melfort's  removal,  1 16; 
favours  stand  at  the  Boyne,  144 ; 
his  relations  with  James,  147  ; 



his  courage  at  the  Boyne, 
155;  defends  Oldbridge,  159; 
at  Galway,  184;  reinforces 
Limerick,  197 ;  appoints  Ber- 
wick his  deputy  and  goes  to 
France,  199;  his  reception  in 
France,  200-1,  223-4;  position 
on  his  return,  224;  goes  to 
Athlone,  228 ;  opposes  a  battle, 
232  ;  resumes  command,  245  ; 
orders  Levte  en  masse,  247 ; 
arrests  Luttrell,  248 ;  exacts 
public  oath,  249  ;  sudden  death 
of,  ibid.,  different  opinions  of, 
250;  spurious  will  of,  259 

Tyrone,  Earl  of,  205,  267 

Tyrone  regiment,  204 

Ulster,  position  in,  84,  87 
Ulstermen,  described  by  d'Avaux, 


Uniform,  the  Irish,  in  France, 

Union  of  England  and  Ireland  in-